Skip to main content

Full text of "NLBW21"

See other formats



Newsletter for 


-■■' r' 

• ■' - ' -'^^ • -;, 

■ ^ 


■ vl -' -r- — 



-L^f "■' 

■- ^~-^']h^ V 



r ^ 



Vol. XXI Nd,1 Jariuary 19B1 


BiTdw,^tching at Somnath {Pr^jbhas-P Eitan) Bv Udcyan Mfjhta. 

Biids - off Sukhna L^ke by AK Chakfr.vairthv, PS Sandhu, 1 PK Ananda Rao. 

.H acre BD on dene E 

Blackwinged Kite in Bondipui: by SauTuitia BjjnisxJBa, 

Mini Koaladev Ghana near AhniEdifbjid by UM Rawr-l. 

Ncsta of Lapwings by Aashetsh Pittia, 

Birds Near Naroca by Asad fiafi Rahmaril^- 

Cheatnbtheaded Bac-entcra and nthcEs ir Madras by ^ Santharem, 

flaya Hosts in Dctabcr byr^-Qj 5i^dhartha, 

Trapping of Partridges by D Sidhartha, 

Need for a List nf Tree Speciae by BA Palkhiwalla. 

Mistaken Identity by fiP Heian. 

Birds Flying in DarkneaE by Margarei P Walkey, 

Studies af the ComiUDn Cuckoo (Cticulus canorus), 

Collins Handguidc to the Birris of the Indian Bub-Cantinant by M.-^rtin 
Woodcock, l9flQ, Collins, London, 176 pages, illuatiatad (mostly in cnlour 
Price (UK};£4,95- 

Gur Lantributprs 
JJnidentif iad SubacribGrs 
SubscTip tions .and__pQnations 



Jaj-pur BirdE: Dr, Asbak Kumar Shsrina has Sent a note about birdt found 
in \/ariDus habit.its in Jaipur, The habitat has baan clHseifiad into 
thickly populGtBd area, thinly populated aree, gardens, agricultural 

fields, injaste land, viatlands, and hill^ areas, Altoyether a 1lT apEcies 
have bean recorded. The winter migrants include tha Redsh.^nk, Greenshank, 
Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, River Tarns, Roay Pastor, Sterling, 
Orphean risrhler, Indian Great Read Warbler, Lesser Whitethrnat, BlucthroHt> 
Black Redstart, Yellow Wagtail, Gray Wagtail, White Wagtail, The only 
instance of a micrrant coming in summer, and apparently not present in 
winter, is the BiuetailEd Bee-eatsr, 

Sinnino [rompet^ti^n : .-■ Arun Bhatie wxitea to cay 

"1. An American visitor told me of a 3 rttonth lang exhibition at Hong kohg 
Museum nf History May-^July , 1930 when seuen jolumes of John Gould's 
"Birds of Asia" first published in liSSD ware on display* Different 
illuatrationa, hand-paintad by the Author wero shoi-jn each day. This 
American visitor was not a birdwatchar and could not ttill me mora, 
Perheps some of your readers can. 

2- 1 understand that in Kelantan in Mglayeia, they have avery Jure, a 
Bird ainging competition* Early in the morning over a hundred bitda 
compete in three one-hour rounds from cages hung on tall poles , Movinf 
from pole to pole, judges listen to the songs of aach bird which i^ 
required to emit three kinds of sound; Shxill and Piercing, Slightly 
Guttural, J^f?ep and Resonani:, Residents o£:, ra)p Visitors to Kelantanp 
can perhaps describe this competition." 

Jf/hich ^pg^.i_q57 ^J Jasper Nowsomc who is now stationed et AlTnora writes to 
say '^Ths most - neiPOrablL bird for me here: is a BahblDr [Sp7), 3i:fallef, 
neater and lass grDgarious than common end jungle Babblers, but active, 
noiay and what 1 can only call slyly bold. It is a sort of olivaceouB 
grey brown over inost of its plunage, but has streaks of liyhtox, shiny 
grey on breast and heed* The only roal features are distinctly rusty ear 
cDvertE and rusty wings, particularly the primaries and coVErta, It 
seems to be rcsidont, territorial, and is quits garrulous with o variety 
of whistles, chirrups and chatters - one uigorous, descending chirruping 
call being port of its territorial display, accompanied by nuch putting 
up breast and drooping of wings- This bird is not included in Salim's 
common bird book, nor Flemings' Nepali book {Nor Salim's Worth E^istcrn 
Himalayan Book). Strenge that ny favourite bird here [it enters my 
huts even!) is an unknown. That is symptumatic of the state of my 
ornithology, and T still cannot send you a decent article on the 
birds here* One dayi" 

.Mult3.nlE_Bav.a. .Nests i Wcwsletter N'ai4 of the Drpngn Nature Club reparts 
the siting of se\/L:ral Multiple Baya fiesta, Un enquiring from Salifi Ali 
about thi-s phEnoniononi thL;y , received the follawing repiv: 

"I was glarf to get your-ncrtri an a rccnnt -birdwatching trip tg Snmnath- In 
almost every large col-nny of Saya nests thcrt ara ancs or two, or mcxe,' 
multiple nests -us uelly 2 o:r 3 storc^ed, but sometimes upto 6 and rarely' 
even upto 7. They sppercntly belong to different birds i-jho hevc taken 
poaEfjssion by ousting rivals- But only ono nest ia in use at one time, 
and the entrance of the previous is scHlad by the newcomor before he 
coRimenees to add his own nest to the complex, ' Of the two 'entrances' 
yotJ. mention, one is that originally provided bv the onjnGr himself whilo 
the hole on the side is usually bored by a predator (perhaps 'a crow} 
trying to reach the contents of the nest- It is sometimes ^igde by a ' 
munia trying to utilise a disused Eay.T nest for laying its own eggs in«" 

-ll¥«4-fe -JE-l^f -( !C d K i^ «. « K'iB # 

Kingfishers take; on home _hclo,5 ^: AC SoundararEij haa sent an interesting olipp- 
ine from the Nbvi Scientist of i 7th July 1930 which is reproduced hare, - 
"Many birds omploy helpers at the nest site. These helpers may feed the 
young and help to drive off predstera. In recent years researchEjrs have 
^^.ll^^^^i^.P^^.'^^VCS what makes a pair take on helpers; and do h-Glpt?rs get - 
anything out of it? Dx, Heinz-Ulrich Ruyer of Soowicsen, West Eermany, 
has come up with eome interesting ansiriers (Behauiaural Ecolocfy and 
SeciobiQlogy, vol 6, p 219). 

Ruyer studied two colonies of the Kenyan pied kingfishor ([^'eryle rudis 

rudis), one at L^ke Naivasha, the other at L,-?ke Vietoria, Like the British 

kingfisher, pied kingfishers feed alinost exelUEively en fiah. To catch , .^ 

their prey they fly over the water, searehing, sometimes hovering, end ' 

plunge-when they see a fifih. At Lake Victoria pied kingfishers food 

mainly on fish of low entrgetie value. At Lake ^Jaivesha energy-rich 

fish ai^" morfi -plentiful, and" the kingfishers farebEttex, Similarly, the 

avernge amount of time taken to ci^tch a fisb is only 5,9 minutes at 

Lake Naiuasha compered with 13 minutes at Lake Victoria, The picklings 

are not'-s'D.-gond at Lake Victoria! 

_ I 

This diffsrunce levels to very difforcn-t "lleip'ei structures at''tFic two 
calonicE, Helpers i^sy be of two sorts, Prim;?ry helpers are the yearling 
sons of et least one of thq breeding pair being assisted. Secondary 
helpers are surplus males whose ovin attempts to pair that year have 
failed* Th'ey >arH -unrelated "to the pair being assisted. 

At Lake Woiunsha where food is plentiful only primsiy helpers aW accep- 
ted. "Ccndidstoii Geccjndoi'i' helpers aru driuE:n pff. At Lake Uicteria 
both primary end secordary helpers are accepted. It looks as though 
secondary helpers are taken on only when the breeding pairs era desperate - 
when, they nesd as many beake ^^ they can mustcx. If eo, we'd oxpect the 
suruivol of young reared by paXisnts alono to be gregtar at Lake Naivasha 
than at Leke Victoxia, Thxs is exactly what happens, Moro than twice 
as many survive at Lake Naivasha. 

Wh might also expect that at Lake yictcria the more aecondaxy hi;lpcra 
the rjrentex the chances of survival of the young. In fGct, with one 
heipEx the survival of chicks ia 78 pex cent. With two it is 100 per 
cent, CleaJrly, when foad ia Ecarce socandaj^y helpers are useful tQ have 


What dc h,-lpers get out of it then? By-edding his mothor or father in 
raxsinq his holf hrothexs or sisters a primzxy hclpor increeses his inclusive 
fitness- And the secondary hLilpcrsT By htiiping a femele one year, a 
seccndc-iry helper nay, be allowed to pair with her in the following season. 
Thus by serving & female, the Bapondary b^lpej^ is really lookirtg .to ^ihs 


Clearly to the male of the pair sacondary helpers are potential conpctitore, 
so it is no surprise thnt the male frequently attacks candidate secondary 
holpexs* The njalo'a decision ta takti en a secondary helper must balance 
the risk of losing hia mate next yeax ngainst that of losing his young this 
year. .At-Lokc Victoxia the second^-jxy helper's application is often re- 
luctantly accepted!" 

■BJ-rdwatchinn at Somnoth ..(Pxabhag-Pstan) by Uda^on Mchta 

During the Diweli Vacation we visited Somnath, near V^raval on tho 
Saureshtro co^st. The eix day trip staxting on Sth Wouembex SO was 
delightful, i had luck in the moxning as my neighboux called me to 
shew a b&eutiful bird sitting on a pillar- It happened to be tho 
BrownhtDded StoxkbillEjd Kingfisher {Pclargepsis ei?pensis), A large 
multi eoloux.'.d bird with a brown he^-ld greenish blue upper parts, undcr- 
paxts chocolate coloured, with a laxge heavy red bill. Travelling by 
the Somnath Mnil vre looked out of the window and J;arge groups of 
Black Ibis betirjcen Jetaisax end Jtinagadh. 

We reached .Somnath on 7th hJovember and our room overlooked the sea. to 
the right of our room so the sacred tejiiplc of Lord Shiva which as is 
well known has e long histoxy of de&truc ti-on end renovation. A few 
illuminated shiips., could he seen against the background of the setting 
sun- - H - ' . 

Next morning we walked on the bcoch and saw a nunibex of Gullbilled 
Terns [Gelochelidon niloticn). Wo noticed that they did not dive inside 
tho water like River Terns, They always picked up the pxey from the 
sucfncB of the saa^ _ Some bixda nppenred to be Broijnhocded Gulls, 

In the eusning again on the beach wc saw quxta"g° ^bhJ JtlcoWfrhead 'EcrETmi" 
(Larus bxunnicephalus) where thg ciyer Hiran rueets the sua, Thgy were 
being haraEs.?d by Jungle Cj:dws an-l as thei^ flapped their winga to ©scapa 
from the ctOL.s \ns cnuid clearly observe theix black pritnariea with the 
two mirrPEs near the tip of the wings," 

With theae gulls there were two Eullbilled Terns sitting some distance 
gwav and -. thfire vjas alea a solitary raef heron completely ^laty with 
a i^hite patch on its throat, a long straight pointed yellnw beak and 
yellnw tcES and webs. 

After sunset there was a group of 8. to 10 birds which we identified 
as Spotted Sandpip(?r (Tringa glareola). It wag interesting to watch 
them eating small cratK . On the morning of 3th Wo^ember we walked 
inside a small jungle country mostlv of Babul trees {Prosopis julifloia) 
between the temple and the Triveni Sangam- We sew Black Orongcs, Magpie 
Rebj.ns, 5 Whitebreasted Kingfisher, Jn the morning of the 1 Uth wc snw 
a fevj Grey Wagt^iils and White Wagtails. The White Wagtails was the race 
Eukhunensis i.ith white ear CQ\/ert3, At Triv/eni Sangam we 2n Grey 
Heronfi and also en Gpenbillcd StorJt . Later wc sli^o sew a Common King- 
fisher [Alcedo atthis). We were surprised not to have seen any Blackheaded 
&ulls tLarus ridibundus). i rc^:^iJmber having scon them in January 1979 
in hundreds, Dn enquirv with the local fiehermcn we wore told that 
these Gulls arrive in late Deoembei:, 

.Birds - off Sukhn=. Lake bv A K ChakraVRrthv P5 5andhu, 1 PK Ananda Rao 

Dn 2nd February 19^0 there was a celd wave and a slight drizzle and we 
had little hope of seeing many birds in such incltijr,ent woether. All 
thet wc saw on Sukhna Lake wore a flock of Coats and Sandpipers, 

We decided to look for birds in a sn^all patch of Acacia forests and we 
came across a hoopoe a lessar grey shrike {Lenius minerj a party ef 
Scarlet Minivets, g Black Drongo, a Goldenbacked Woodpecker and a 
Chestnuthcaded Wuthatch, It was interesting to see the Woodpecker 
searching for insects in the comparitiveli^ larger trees while the 
Nuthatch worked its way up and down the trunks of ntuch smalls]: trees. 
On the dung-pads wc sow Grey Wegtails looking for insects',' A party' 
Of Grey Tits were feeding in typical fashion hanging upside down below 
the tender twigs of trees. We saw a male Bluethrdat (Erithacug svecicug) 
come cut of a lantana bush to pick up en insoct- 

As was^to bo expected we found that there were differcrft species of 
birds in the four different environments we had ohservo"d, Drie wes 
the forest U-oar thu other the bare ends of Acocia trees, third the 
Acacia tree trunks spd four tfre foiiag'e Ofth^e acacia tree*' 

While returning home wc found tbe^ two graceful Blackbellied Terns 
(5terna acuticauda) on Sukhna Lake, 

Corr e EDO n d e n c c 

.jlack'^inqsd - Kits in Baridlpur by SaMirixtr a B 


Dn 5th f^ovembex I9fl0 we i^^rint to Bandiour and ■jpart frnm CDCTintr across 
much enthralling fauna, we wera fortunate to aee .q Blackwingad Kite 
(Elanus caei-ulpus) parachute dcwn in its custamary ^tylc an a marshy 
bit of land. Later it fXcv/ towards ouj: vehicle end for a mofnant I 
thought there was gointf ta be a cnilision- J was surprised to see that 
in the litit of birds at the raceptian counter in Hendipur Sanctuary the 
name nf the Blackwinged Kite haa been omitted- 

Mini KPDJadev Ghana n^iar Ahmed Fibad by UM Ra^j- 


Members of the Drongo r^atuia Club viaitEd ^ihis Sanctuaxy en the 22nd of 
MoUBTnbex, Because of the pocfr rainfall this year the leserveii was 
utilised for irrigation and thp level of the water was very law, Meuex- 
theless mc were able to see 21 species of birds including Sponnbiils, 
Flamingoes, Rosy Pelican, Grey Pelican, Whitanecked Stork, as well 
as White Storks , 

Nests of Lapwings b.v ftashcesh Pittie 

This is with-isferEnce to the article by Shri, Prakash Gole and Shxi. 
Tflaj Mundkux, nn the 15th page of the No, 6/7 issue of "the. Wewslettex, 
I too hiiue Sean a nest of the lapwing (whethex red r>r y ellow-wattied 
"«as -rot cenfimnad) with Shxi B,G, Choudhuxy - a keen birder - which was 
like the one they saw, this nSst-was on-tha ground iii the Lion Safari 
Park of the Nahru Znoiogicol Park of Hyderabad. It was 'rcund with a 
diameter of appro^, E inches." The cggi, were laid on a pli^tform was 
extremely" nea-t ^and flat afid almost go enni trie ally round, " THe faux dirty 
brown agije with hapha2ard .black blotches all over' wore arranged in such 
a way that the tapering and loy in the center {as ^^Iso observed by 
Shri, V. Santhaxam in 'the same ■ Mewsletterj - 

This nest had mnst-probsbly been abandoned becalJEc' there wbie no birds 
around. This nest also was built neer a water source - tho Miralam tonk 
very close to the nest- 

fliids Near Naxox^ by Asad Pafi Rnhman i '■ 

i read with interest your editorial in the latest issue of the Newsletter 
Regarding 'Checklists for tourists^ (p.^Oi 1 havo following to say: 

"There is a huge xescrunir in the Gange Ei\;ex near hJaxora in Buland- 
ahahr district of U.P, (Indians fourth atomic power plant is being 
built ne<?rbv)i During winter, hundreds nf migratory birds visit this 
ressrvoir and at^y uptill April or J^^y, 1 have seen almost all the 
riverine duqks and wedexa of Morth India- 

In the evening again on ths beach we saw cfuite a few Bxownheaded Eulls 
[Larus hrunnicephslus) whexe the river Hiran jneets \hs s-ea. The^ were 
being harassed by Jungle Crows and as they flapped theJJ: wings to escape 

frnm the crow5 ws cnuld clearlv observe their black primaries with the 
two mirrnrs near the tip nf the wings. 

With these gulls thare were two &ullbilled Terns sitting sons distance 
awey and -_ there was also a salitery reef horen complEtely slaty luith 
B white patch on its thraat, a latrg straight pointBd yellow beak and 
yellow toes and webs. 

After sunset there was a gxaup of 6. to IG birds which wb identified 
as Spntted Sandpioer (Tringa glereoia), Tt was interesting to ^ateh 
them eating small crabs. On the Jticmintr of 9th November wc walked 
inside a small jungle country mostly of Babul treos (Prosapis juliflora) 
between the te:nple and the Trivnni Sangam, We saw Black Drongos, M.ngpia 
Robins, a Whilebxcasttd Kingfisher- Jn the inorninD nf the 1 Dth we saw 
a few Grey Wagtails ^and White Wagtails, The Whits Wagtails was the race 
Dukhunensis with white ear cnuprts. At Triveni Sang^m we saw ZU Grey 
Herone and also sin Openhillcd Stork, Later we else -aw g Cemmon King- 
fisher ( ftlcedo atthisj. We were surprised not to haue seen any Blackhesded 
Gulls aarus ndibundue ) , I rem^jn^ber having seen thtm in January 19 79 
in hundreds, Dn enquiry with ths local fishermen we were told that 
these Gulls arrive in late December, 

Birds - eff Sukhn^ Lake bv A K Chakravarthv PS Sandhu, & PK flnanda Ran 

Dn 2nd Febru.nry ^9QU there was a ccld wave and a slight drizzle and we 

had lattlp hope of seeing i;iany birds in such inclement weather. All 
that we saw en Sukhna Lake were a flock of Coots and Sandpipers - 

We decided tn look far birds in a small patch of Acacia forests and we 
caifie across a hoopoe a lesser grsy shrike (Lanius minor) a party of 
Scarlet Minivets, a Black Drongo, a Goldenbaoked Weodpecker and a 
Cheetnutheaded Niithatoh, It was interesting to see ths Woodpecker 
searching for insects "in the conrparitivtly larger trees while tha 
Nuthatch worked its way up and down the trunks of much sinallar trees. 
□n the dung-pads wc saw Grey WagtaiXs looking for insects'/ A psrty 
of GEey Tits were feeding in typical fashion hanging upside davjn below 
the tender twigs of trees. We saw a male Bluethro^t [Erithacue svccicus) 
coniG out of a lantana hush to pick up an insect. 

As wea to be expected we found that there were differeht species of 
birds in the four different environments wc had obaarvsd, Dric was 
the forest floor the cthar the barE ends of Acacia trees, third the 
Acacia tree trunks and four the foliage of th^e 'aoacia tree. 

While returning home we found the two graceful Blackbellied Terns 
(Sterna acuticaUda) on Sukhna Lake, 

■Rlacki^ipqEd - KitG in Bandi^^ur by S .^iur.iitr a Bani^r . -j ce 

Dn 5th HDUembEr 19HD we went to Bandipur and apcrt frnm ccciiTTt;: acrosa 
much enthralling fautra, we Were farj^unatc ±a sec a Blackv^ingcci Kite 
fElanus caprulBUs] pscechutc dnvin in its L^J^tomary style on a marshif 
bit of Ifind, Later it flew towards our vehicle and for a momen't I 
thought there was going -to ho e collision. I ^vas EurptiBad tn aae that 
in the li&t of birds at the ceception counter in Bandipur Scinctuniy the 
name of the Blaokwinged Kite h"aa been "omitted- 

Minx Kaoladev £hana ne^i: Ahiriedabad by ..HIM flawal 


Hambeis of tba Dronga rJature Cluh visited this Sanc-tuaty an the 22nd of 
Novembej:. Becausg of the porix rainfall this year the-roservoii wae 

utilised far irrigation nnd the level of tho ^atar was very low- Wever- 
thclasR wc were able to see 21 species af bixds including Spoonbills, 
FlaiFiingoeSi Rosy Pelican, Grey PelicEin", Whitenacked Stork, as well 
as White Storks . 

•Nests of Lapwinris b;^__AaE hocsh Pittie 

Thi^ ^i3:-wit>i. reference to the article by 5hri. Prpikesh GoIr and Shri, 
Taej Hundkur, on the 15th page" of the fJca,6/7 issue of the Newsletter, 
I toe have Sijen a nest of the lapwing {'.jhethcr red or y ello^-wsttled 
■was -not canfirmad) with Shri B.C, Choudhury - a keen birdai - which was 
like the one they saw- This rJErat^hiaa on-the ground in the Lion Safari 
Park of the Nnhru Zoological Park of Hyderabf.d, It was'round with a 
diamater nf approx, B inches;^ The Gggs'Wcra laid on a platform was 
extrETuely' rieat- ahd flat and alTnast geometrically round."" The four dixty 
brown eggs with h-->phazard blpck blotches all over were arranged in such 
a way that the tapering and lay Xtj tht center (as also cbserved by 
Shri. V- Santharam in the same - Wewslettar), 

This neat had mgst probably be^h'atiaiidaned because there were no birds 
around, Thia'bist also was built near a water source - the Mir^ilaTn tank ■ 
very close to the nest- 

Birde ^Jear ^arora bv Asad Pqfi fiahm^ini ' - , - 

I read with interest your editOrinl in tho latest issue of the Wsi^sletter 
Hfigarding 'Checklists far tourists' [p-3j, 1 havts followino ta say: 

"Thore is a huge reservoir in the Ejangn xa;vBr near Warora in Buland- 

shahr district ef U.P, [India's fourth atoinic power plant is being 
built nearby). During winter, hundreds of migratory birds ^isit thia 
reservoir and stay uptill April or May- 1 have seen almost all the 
riverine ducks .and.- wedeia of Worth India- 

A big colony for engineE-rs: ai^f* vioiki^rs of the power pl?,nt is basing built 
nearby, so thare isevery likDiihond of this dostruction of the nnttiral 
habitat in fjturE. [ have tekt=n up thG njattcr with the UP Tourism Difpn-^xt- 
niEnt and the Forest DEpnrtment ond both agrae thrt the Narora lesctuoir 
is a goad place' for. .-a' bird sanctu£ixy or- a refuge. 

.ChcstnuthBBdBd Bea-'Eij.teJS and f^adxas by V Santhjraiii 

RegErding Chcsitnuthc.ndod Beo-eaters, I am sorry that at present I am not 
in Q position to provido you with any irfoxmetion os we have not come 
HcxDSE any in Madras- f^-dxas has only two species of bco-catcrs - the 
small green boE-eater (resident) nnd the hlae-tailed bce-eatcr which ie 
seen in f^adras during winter. Incidentally the chestnutheadEd hae-aater 
recorded in 'Madras^ was actually callectad in She^/n^□ys and thiB apeciman 
is being e>;hibitHd in, the Madras museum. 

As regards the Grey Plover sighted in Dodda Gubbi an 1st September by 

yoursEilf and Mt.P.T. Thomas, I fcfcrrud to Vol, 2. tfondbook of Indian Birds 
and according to the distribution it is said that the bijd is , "less comTnon 
in inland waters - erratically or as a straggler - mostly on migration 
passnge in aututnn and Eipring Recorded thus in Kashmii, QP, Bihar, Nepal, 

Aasam» Rajasthan, Hadhy-T Pradesh, and Deccan, Doubtless also occurs 
inland elsewhere". Pcrhcps the bird you encountered was one such 

While on the subject of ifiigration riay 1 be permitted to aay souie few 

Kcrds about'bird migration in Adyar Estu^iryT As usu^-l the common 
sandpiper waa the first to arrive on IBth July and by the end of the 
month they were quite common here. On the same date a greenshank was 
seen in flight, Blpckv/inged atilts (over 100 birds J were seen on the 
lOth and on the same data a large sand plov,ix, 1 whimbxel {in flight) 
and a redshank weri? seen. Si-Jallows vjexe seen occEisionally fxom the 
1st week of August, though they appeared to be common nnly by ths last 
week of the seme month, Thurc weie a paix of curlew sandpipers, one 
of tbem in breeding (reddish) plumiage on I6th August along with 4-5 
lesser- sand plover and a littlcringed plover. 

On IstSeptembea: 1 -i^^s a^le to spot e Exi^y Plover (what s caincidenceO 

some little stints, over 35 bartciled godwits and 3^4 turnstonea, Qn 
*^th, t spotted a few golden plovers in worn-'Out breeding plumege- [jn 
6th I '^as able to observe 3-3 Torek or Avocet Sandpipers Ij^nding on an 
iaiet. On 13th Septeir.bcx I was in for e'surprise. Apart f roni- a nawly 
arrived Blackteilod Godwit which I sew sidc-by-oide with the baxtailcd 
(the latter being seen for the i'irs t time in AdyaXj this yec-x) I was 
pleasantly shocked to find noaxly ,16-17 tsflls , On a later vi^it on 15th, 
(vjhtn I saw over SO numbers) 3 confirmed them to be Gargancy Teals. As 
the mouth of the river was clesad by the sand bar, the water level waa 
uery high, submerging most of the islets and to the birds it might heve 
looked like e lake and hence their presence there! Df course last year 
I used to see teals in flii^ht here but never in the water. 1 am euto 
this is sn unusuel record. 

Bgya , N egts in O ctobc?r by D ■ _S idh.-.rtha 

Accoj;ding to thu Hnnd Book ihs bracding season of Bayo Weaver Biids 

is frnm Hay - September. But in the month of October M9SD) I had 
eccn at lesst three colonies nf Baya Weaucr Birds- T'la male birds 
were constructing their ne^its. I had aiso Rccjn a f^w famala birds - 
Beceuse the msla birds wert? in their bxuoding pluuiass. Thsse three 
coloriies were schii in a fiald, whora grass was facing grown to fas UBed 
ae fodder. 

Then in the month of Havember (1990) I was surpri^eu to notice thet 
all the nests had been ^ibandoned by the Beya birds, Most of the nests 
^vEru partially built, till the chaiikher, At the aemu tijnc the grass 
in mest areas of the field hnd faeen harvested, Doqs tho breeding scrisoh 
correspond with the comFncncemcnt of 5,W- monsoon or in the presence of 
nesting matcrialT What if both tho factors ara absent? 

Trapping pfPaxtridaes by p ...^idhartha 

I had gone out to w.ntch birds at nearby fields on 3-11-60, By chenca 

I met a bird catcher. This person had two wire cacjea 'n^ith him- Each 

of the cnges centgined a male painted purtridga. According to him, 

the bij?dB were mala encE* In fact this bird catcher had trained theeo 

birds to make soundsj on whistling. He el?o had e tre^p with him, A 

large rectanijular boK divided into e number of cempartments , These 

comp^rtmunts ware lin-r^d with nylen wires, in order to trap a bird. 

The males an making sounds, lurt; the feiii^lu5 which get entangled in tho 

hJeed fo r a List of Trc^ _5p ccieS bv BA _P elkhiwnllq' 

In the Ncwslotter for Bifidwetchers (September ROj , en p^.gc 3 under 
"Bird check lists for tourists", there; is e suggLstion far lists of 
resident £ind migrant faixds in soinc of our cities. This is a welcoms 
Euggestion and Bombay hJetural History Society is the right authority, 

I would add iny own sucjge.^tiona that thcrE should be also a list of local 
trees with their locations, like the one brought out by the tourist 
dopaxtmcnt many ycnrs ago, of which I have en eld copy. Of couxse, 
thot list is out-dated as many mora ntiw areas have come -up in Bombay 
with beautiful flaw[?ring trees like Pangara, PoltDphorum, Cnssias and 
ethers- Vaaterday, during my leisurely nalk in the Churchgatc Reclaination 
area X counted ohout 400 tXEes including a good numfaec of the above and 
also Bhendi, Crisuarina^ Coconut, Scarlet Cordia, Bottle Brush, Pipal, 
Banyan, Gult^ohur, Asupole and flain trees, 

I am sure a lot of our coTpimon resident birds like Bulbuls, Coppersmith, 
Tailor Bird, Sunbirds, Mynas, Parakeets, Sparrows, and Crows must ba 
roosting and enjoying the fruits of somo of those tress. You will, 
thexefors, agree that birds end trans go together and if a list of 
'birds of the cititis is brought out, there should also be one for the 

tj"B(n: - 

HistakGn Idcntitv by UP Haran 

We xead with interest P.T. ThomciB'a lot tor in 4b Newsletter in Vol, 

XX Wo>l3, concerning the presence af Chestnutheadod B£?e~Ez*ter5 in the 
CMC Cempus, V.-llare, Wb hove bocrr ohsetving birds in this CaJifpus 
for the past 3 years and hpx/c not y ot niadE j:i positive identification 
of this particular bird, including Jan-March, 19S0, 

In that part of the Campus which Mr, TflomHa dnscribes, the Bluetailcd 
Bcc-eatsrs arc found in largor nuTT]bci;5 then tirn Small Groon aeQ^eE-tfcia 
roughly in th:: rotio 3:1, The presence of the CenttGl olongntBd tail 
foF^thcrs into blunt pins haii ali^ays- been to us, a reliahlij guide to the 
identity of the Small Green Bee-oatcr, in ccintrast to the Chpsstnuthcodcd 
Bee-eater whose central pin fcath^rB prajcct only slightlv beyond the - 

toil, es described in the book of Indian Bird^ by Salim ftii, 11th EdiUon? 

All the bee-eaters seen hori? unfailingly corruapnnd ta the above mentioned 
fEDtura in oddition to si-ie and the black necklace. With dUB respect to 
Mr, Thomas, wa think that this is a case of mistr.ken identity- 

■Birds Flvinp in Darknesg by Mnrgeret P Walkcv 

Dn rdceiuing thj Docembar Nowslattax, I was vecy interested to read Mr, 
V. S^ntharom'e .-rticle quoting extracts froni Clive Catchpnlc's bonk 
cnncerning certain birds flying in darkness and elan hawing the ability 
to locate th-ar indiwidu^l nests, 1 ^as disappointed when nn one else 
followed on, to. shed light on these two areas of bird lifo, and am all 
the more grateful to Mr- Santhiiram for h.nving done sc now, t^.o full 
years later! I found what he wrote iftost interesting. 

Studios of the Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus ^ 

jftP Eupto writes "The ComTiion Cuckoo breeds in the Hoshzngab.-^d district of 
Madhya Pradesh. It perasitijiaa the nests of Ruf oU3b£;ckcd Shrikes. I haUc 
observed thi? in the Eastern and central pnrts if the district, I have " 
had no opportunity tc observe it in tha western part. 

Two notes on the breeding of the Common Cuckoo in Hoehangab^d district 
have .-appeared in tho NcvjslT;tter for Bixdwatcbcrs of Eacember, 1 9Tfl and 
Septcinber, 19SQ. In the latter, Mr. i^^far Fiitchally has quoted a 
passage from the Handbook, Vol, 3, page 206. which contains- the following 
sentence: "The .whole subject calls for a inore inathodical de novo re-^in- 
H/ostigatioh. " 

I am -willing to take up an investigation in the Hoshanypbad .irea, hut I feel 
that a thorcugh investigation can only be carried ciJt by a team of persons 
equipped suitably* 

(The Editor would appreciate if peopic willind to cc-operate on thia 
project correspond i^ith Mr.AP Gupte, Friends Rural Centre, Hasulia, 
Koshanr^abod, Madhya Fradeeh 4filQDl, 



Slat^-rheaded ■Scimtar-Babblei' should be PgrriEitarhinus ho.xsf ±Hldi .not 
£.. schisticeas . Theso, howcucxT arc tninor puints and should not dctiEict 
fram the viilue of the book. At £4 .[fS it is not exactly a bargain but 

a less fixpensiue soft-back ..version is available- 

,.■-- ,. .". . ■■■. . ' '' D-P, Vfijesingha 

Pur f:ontributars 

Mr, Udsyan Mehta, fi-A, Jcsvan Smruti Society, Mixaiiibica Read, Naranpura, 

Ahmddabfld 3B0 013, 

Mr,AK ChakravarthVfH-T RtWo^l2Z, Punjab Agricultural Uniusraity, Ludhiana, 


Mr. PS Sandha, c/o. Hr,AK Chakravarthy . 

Mr> PK Ananda Rao, c/o, Mr.AK Chakrauarthy , '■ .,-, 

Mr, S- BanarjtQ, 51, Surat Bofe Road, Calcutta 7D0 D26* '.'"■"'"" 

Mr. UM Rawal, DE^axtmcnt of Zoology, 5choDl of SciencEa, Gujarat Uniuexsity, 

Navrcngpura, Ahmetiahad 3SG 009, 

Mr, AashcEsh Pittie, 14-7-370, BeguEfi Ba^ax, Hyderabad SOO Q1 ?, 

Mr, Aaad Rafi Rahmani, Reseaxch Biologiet, Avifauna Projeci, Kpdikka:cai 

61401:17, Tamil Nadu, 

Mt, D, Sxdhartha, 34/A, Santosh ^Jsgi^x Caaany , Hydexabad 659< 

Mxs, Hargaxat P Wfllkay jBethcsda Leprosy Hospital, Narsapux, W. Godauari 

District, Andhra Pxadesh, 

Mx.V, Santharam, c/o. Shri-WV Bhat, 12"At Lcith Caatla South Straat, 

Madras 6D0 029, 

Mt,BA Palkhi..fllla, TSSA, M, Jushi C bi6hy> 'Dadar^ BdnibHy 400 DU, 

Mt,RP Haron, CMC, Velloxc. 

Mr>AC Karat, CMC ^ Vellorc* 

Mx,John P Sclvan, CMC, Vollore. " 

Mr,AP Euptc, Friends Rural Centre, Basuiia, Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, 

Mr,DB WijeshinghB,lG, Chaclotte Road, Wallington.Surrey ,BH6 9AX, England. 

Unidentified Suhscribaxs 

Subscriptinna have started to cDcne in for which the Editor is grateful 

but sD fax only a 1GD have been recEived, will the others kindly oblige 

Incidantp.lly jb hrge manEy ordars were receivad during December without the 
nama or addrasa mentioned on the tear slip. In consequence we arc Unable 
to determine from wham the money wiia received. Will those eubscribers 
whose payments have noi been acknowledged in this issue kindly inform 
the editor sbout their remittances?' Vfo would also request that the name 
and address is ^ilways rn?ntiDned on tht tear-off slips ef the Money 
Crder Forma, 



SubscriDtion .fox the ygjr l9Bi have been reccii^cd f rum : 

MaharashtJa = . „ 

Smt, SuGhila M-eht"3^-Hl ,''-.F±rsffQsh-Man£.il,' Band Stand, B'andra, loitibay SD, 

Re ,20/- f _5int- Kamsici yEnkatac^imcini^l 3- A, Evorest , A nushnktina gar, Bombay 94, 

R5,l5/-; Mr, Sanjoy D Moghc, 1709,' Sadbshiv Pcth, Poonn 4110030, Rs ,15/"? 

Mi* Prakash Eardc, ^PoDirva', 229 j Rani Laxminngar, Nsigpur 440 02Z|Rg,15/-; 

Mx^ Anil S^Mahabal, 1535, Sadhashiu Peth, Punt 30, Ra.l5/-; Mz , Thonias Gay, 

Deu Kanj, Prahhat ftba'd, Poano 41 1 DD4 ,Ra , 20/-; Mr.JP Irani, No. 9-8, 

Rua-tom-HaU^, Victoj^ia plvi "Raad, Bombay 4an D2T,Rs ."35/-^ "Mrs. R.-W- Ghatc, 

Shiuangaon, Nagpur 4dD □05,R5-20/-; Mr, Kiran K KalkaE, 94/6, Erandavana, . 

Poona 411004, 

lonil Nadm Mx, Anand Kahat, Men's Hostel:, CMC H Vallora, Pin e^^rJQ^, 
R5-l5/~j Me. V ScLn-tharam, c/o, Shjri.WV B'Fiat, 12-A, Leith Castle South Street, 
Madras GOO 02e,Rs,1Q/-| Mrs. 5axcLb Jamason, Culmore, CnnnoDr,Rs ,1 5/-| 
Mrs, ,P lil*%Qtt, The' AnchoQTHgE, Chdcch Raid, Coonoor 6431 01 ,R3 >15/-; Mrs- 
Sushila Bai Adigc, Foirmaunt , Patcj: Avcntic, Coonoor 643101, The Nilgiris, 
R5,30/- {I9ai-Q2); Dr. £< Wilfred, Raadsr irt BiochamiBtxy , Christian Medical 
College, Vellore 632002|Rs -15/-^ 

^j.har : Mr. Suxashwar Gupta, o/o, Mr,B. Gupta, 153, ED, Sir Syed Street (N), 
P.O. Khagaul, Patna SOi 1 D5,p3 ,15/^; Mrs, Jamal Ara, M/T (Single), Harmu 
Hausing Colony, Hanchi 834 01 2, Rs . 5Q/~; 

.Ra.JH-asthan : Ml > fl.N, Chattcrjcc, Sitaram Kutir, A/4, Ngka Madar^Ajmer 305001 , 
f[G,15/-; Mr. Hamcint Goswainy, C-S, Prithwiraj Road, C-SchcTne, Jaipur 302001, 
85,15/-? Mr. M, Liyaqatullah Khan, Khanji-Sti-Havcli, B^TTibn, Jadhpur 3J 2001 , 
Rs,15/-j"Mr, Indra Kumar Sharfna, Bh^igawnti Bhnuan, R^jtannda Road, Jadhpur, 
342020»Rs.l5/-T Mr. Raj Singh, Outside Mathura Gate, Ehpjratpur, Rajosthan, 
Re.2E/-; Dx. Ashok Kumnr Sharma, 54, Avinosh Path, BhJJlEshwor Garden, JaipurT 
302001, Rs, 15/^; 

.Qrisaa; Mr,KK MDhapatro,c/o, Br.BK Bchuxaj Prof, of Zoology, Utkal University, 
Ehubaneswar, 751004, Ra, 15/-; Mr. PA Bps , Civil Engincor, Office of the Civil 
Engineer, N,H,P,0, Bhubanesvjar 751001, District Puri, Ori&sa,R5 ,15/-; . ' ' 

ijttar Pradoah : Mrs. Indira Kohli,3fi, Balbir Ave^.De'hxa Dun, Rs,1Q/"j 
Mr* JAK Martyn, IE, tJami Road, Dohra Hun, 24BQD1 ,Rs .15/-j Mr, Narcndxa Singh, 
Visrna Lodge, Aynrpatta, Maini Tal 263001, Ra.SO/-; Tho Wairi Tal Mauntainne- 
ring Club, CfiST Inter College Bltg-, Naini Tal 263001 ,R3, 15/-? 
■^rkt : Mx, Mohmedhusnin B Kh.itri, c/n/Bapu Abdullah Khatri, Khntri" 
Chowk, Hhuj 370001, Rs, 15/-; The Househnld Controliar of MH The Muharao of 
K-[rtc1t7 Rtt,5/-; MxVCW Prjtei,"1, "Bh";irat Cnloriy", "Woujiuan Post, Ahmedabad 14, 
fls.lS/-; Mr, Kiahor K Gohil, Vixal, 4, Jagn.nth Plot, flajkat 3600D1 , Rs -1 5/,j 
Mr.L^lsinh M Raol, 3/18, &ovt- Quarters Exhibition Graund, Jainnagar 361001, 
R&.15/-- Mx- Pradecp J Pandyo, Vidyut Elcctranics, Near Taluka School, 
Sadax, R.-jkot 360 O0i,R5,l5/-; Mr. Shc.ntilal N Varu, JunaVr^r, Pipla Street, 
Madhupur, Ij Kutch 3huj 370020 , Rs , 1 5/-^ The Housa Controller to HH The 
Mnhaxao of Kutch, Sharad Eaugh Palace, Bhuj (Kutch), R&,10/~? Mr. BM 
Purusharya, Raseaxch Scholar, Dt. of Bioacicnces, Saurashtra UniversitVf- 
Rajkot, 360 [)05,Rfi,15/"i -' " ."" 

_Naw Delhi ! M/g , Prints India, 11, Darya Gonj, New Delhi 2, Rs,l5/"{ 
J<.arn^tak_g : Dr>HR Bhat, National Institute of Vixology, Field Unit Kolnr, 
Biu,No>3, House Ha,33D5, .Petechamanahalli Cxtansion, Tekal Road, Kolar, 
563101, R3,15/-i Mr, Subir Hari Singh, .IAS, 100/3fl, 30th Cross, Tth Block, 
Jayanagar, Bang.-ilerc 550 011,Re.15/-; Mr. VivcK Kunte, 764, Mahalakshmi 
Layout, Bangaloxc 5fiB 01 , Ra ,1 5/~i Dx. Fred Simpiende, ComTifonwct^lth 
Institute of Biolegical Contxol, Post Bag Hebbal Agricultural Fnrm P.D,, 
BangRlore 2^'i Rs -iS/'-f " Mx. UK S"ijb"b"iah,"' Kalass Farm, Whit:: Field P.O., 
Bangalore 5Sn 066, fls-45/-; Nr. Donald Graham, Coffee Plantar, Mallandur 
Post, Chikmegalur District, ( Gift subscription fxem Mr -UK Subbaiah) ; 


Dr»KM Piakflsh, 67/2, Richmond Rn^d, B^ngalors 5fiO D2S, {&if-t subsc ripti'on 

fiQSn Mr. UK Subbinh)^ Mr,E HanurpiE:nthL! R.-iQ,Hnngp.Iprc 27,Rs.25/-j 

i'jtjs t Bcnqcil ? i^r. Bi^v/rinath Bhoshal, fi, Niikanihe ChatterjEs Lcine, Belghnrioj 

C^lcutto ^6,R3>15/-j Mr> Anantr! Mit-ra, 6/1, Prince ftnwoj: SEieh Rnad, 

Calcutta 7D0 Q33,Rs*15/-s Mr. Dipendukrishna Roychovjdhury , 2Qfi, Hariah 

Hukherj^e flcad, Caicutia 2S,Rs.l5/-j 

And h r g^ _ ^.r a d e a_h : Mrs • MP \-S-2,lkc\/ ^ Bethcsdn Lcpxasy Hospi-tol, Narsapur, W-G.' 

District, ." R9,15/^i Mr. 5 Ashok Kumar, H, No, 10^3-263/5, hunisytrn N^'gax, 

HillB,' HyddrcbEd. 3i.,ns,l5/"; . ' ^ ' -' 

KErela : f^r.CV RcJBETzin, Sun ike tan, Suniketan, An ay a PO, Tri van drum 

695025, Rs. 15/-; Mr.C. Saaikumar,?, Subh.-iebnag^r ColuTiy, Ccnnanore fiTQQDa, 

Ra,15/-j Mr. L Namassivayam, 13/111 , Kottukandi Paratnbo, Kcimnicth LriHc, ^^ 


Erjgt^q ; The riQto cm Rosy Pastors by Indrc Kumai- Shnxtn^ in the OctDbex 
issUB of tho Wewsiettcjr referr^id to Jadhpur, Unfartunatcly Jodhpux was 
Uiiapxinted as Joipux and $h^ error is xegrettcd. 












EcS»tor; Zafar Futehally 

Dodda Gubbi Post, Via Vidvanagar. Bangalore - 562134 
Annual Subscription Rs. 15/- 

Covef FicruK ■ Blacktailed Godwit (Limosa iimosa) 
Phoio by : E, Hanumaniha Rao 

t - 

Newsletter for 




Vol, XXI No, 2 . February 19B1 


A Morning's Worth of Birdwatching by Laukiimar Khscher, 

Sirdwatching from Jodhpuc to Cape Comorin by Irdra Kumar Sharnii 

Birds in the Rain by Ananta Mitra. 

Bidding in and Around Hyderabad City by 5 Aahok Kumar, 


.ETQTiiments on the Newsletter, 

Birdo of Sukhna Lake. 

Which Bird? - Query by Jaspet r^einJEome, 

Russian Eucks CrosE O^er, 

Bird Smuggling, 

Blue Rock Pigeons and Longlegged Buzzard, 

Pur Contiibutorg 
Subscriptions and Bonatigns 


Fercorine ^nl gcip: The London Times of September 3rdM9Ba teported on 
the "Highly Dx^anizHtl zirigs qf thievEB who raided Ap. eyries 'between 
April and July", Apparentli' Peregrine Falcons are atglen either as 
eggs or ei^. young eyases and fetch as TriL-ch ea 15D0 pounds eflch on the 
hlqck marktt. The Royel Society f nj:_ tho Protaction-of Iliids haa been 
pressing for legislation to prntect BritGin's birds of prey. It suggest 
that "The enforcement agency compoaed of a fei-j expert officers with 
access to licence applicationa and criminal records should be formed 
under the auepicea of the police, the DepartTHt-nt of the Enuircnment and 
the Motura Conservancy Council"- ' 

■Wa in India hews been urging fcx a long tiiue that the inadequate police 
force (so engaged th^ae days in deeling with antisocial activities) 
cannot possibliJ be ei^pEcted to enforce the pro^/isions of the Wildlife 
Protection Act cf 1972 and other Acts for the protection of birds and 
other species. It is to be hoped that the recently formed Departmsnt 
of the Environment will take the initiative in organiEing volunteer foxcss 
far protecting the natural envixcnment- 

4E***4l-K-K4-if-4##«4t4E]f#«4!^« ' "'' 

The White- tailed 5cg Eag les Ths London Times also reports that the 

White-tailed 5ca Eagle which the Nature Conservancy Council "has been 

reintroducing into Scotland durintj the past 5 y eara seems to hevi? settled 
in well and ''hopes arc high that current signs of courtship will lead to ■ 
the firat attempts at breeding in the nEXt year or two"- 

In the 15th century this bird "Kaliaeetus albicilla" 'was persecuted into 
extinction because it was believed to be preying on sheep. Recent studies 
of this bird reveal that they feed largely on carrion consisting of red 
deerj feral cfoots as wall es on sea-birds and sometijiiea on cxows 'and ravens. 
They also catch fish. This particular species albicilla is not found in 
India, thocgh we have two species of this genera in the white-bellied 
aea eagla, and Pgllae's fishing eagle. 

Bird Foundation; A Bird Foundation "in the cause of our feathered friends" 
has been established at No, 2, lath Cross, Mallcswarani, Bangalore 56D 055,, 
One cf the objectives^ of" the Foundation is to provide nest boxes for 
different species of birds. Initially attempts will be made to find nesting 
places for «ie Magpie Robin, Spotted Owlet, Myna, Grey Tit and Indian 
Roller- It is hoped that once the bones are established it will enable 
birdviatchere to observe and record the activities of ths inhabitants. 

The, Bird foundation hopes tha-t tire Karnataka Electricity Board will give 

pern^x=s:Lor, tn us. tho h^qh structures Qf the .tc.l pylons for fitting these 
T * 'm l!^ locBtion^ it should be possible to induce bixds nf prey 

to-tieat. Mc^bc::^ Qf our N^w^lett.^^ should help the Bird Fcundatian by 
keep:Lng xn toLich-With them and offering to participate in the n^t box"- " 

It* -n ****** *« )(* ***•* ***. 

^ . grc B3.Eds KgiL-d to Protect Pnultzrv t Acharye Dwarakanath' h^s sent us a 
pagG rroiR the Woveniber 17, 19flO of TiTi^e magazine which ^ak^s esd raadinq. 
Tha U5 has a 9 billion dollax ppultry industry, and fron, tim^- tu tinip thia 
is attacked by the so callod Howcastle disonso, a viral disordox that 
attacks chicken as ■^eli as a wide \^eriety of othor birds. To prevent the 
dieecsu rrcm sprending in the poultry industry "rare birds are being killed 
by tha thoua,inds by r.Qassing theifi in plastic bsos ..ith Caxbon dioxide" 
■Govsrni.>ant nfficials suspact that the disaeae was introduced by the rare 
tropical^bixds that are smuggled into the USA and sold to cager'buyers at 
fancy prices: up tn 1300 dcllars for a Molucoan Cockatoo, cr eDDD dollars " 
for a nyacinthina macaw- 

« «* *4-«-lt *■>» « « H-JE }t«-ll'4l-j|-hf»# 

P ^^dators and Pr^ ^: It is woll kno^n that the prey speeii^s in a jungle do 
not al^jays panic, as one «ould expect them to, v^hen a predator is in the 
vicinity, Chital and Sambar graze unconcernedly while a pack of wild dogs 
reclines in the distance, Qb^iously the deer know when the dogs are intent 
nn attacking them, «nd ^hen they are well fed end not in the mood to pursue 
thair pxay. In the case ef birdf. one is often surprised at the w^y that 
heipiBBs' paasErinee perch in near proximity^ to their killers. 

Indra Kumar Sher^ia has sent in a note which deals with this situation. Ke 
wxites thst he has often seen house aparrous, Indian ring doves and little 
brown doves, flying close to, or even perching close to ^ bird of prey such 
as -the blackwingsd kite, a short-toed eaglo, a kestrel ox a logger faicon- 
nc tniniis that this happens because the predatory bird cannot atteck frem 
th^ position, relative to the prey, Th^ prey species seem to knew vqw „ell 
xnat tney are safe under tht circums ti^nces, " 


A Mornincia hroEth-rn f^B-Jid^ri'h'rtnina bv Lc-ivkumaT- K h^^r-^ 

On 5unday_11th January a fe^ of us went for tha day to Jasdan, my home place. 
A shoxt dretancB up the rivex fren the town is one of the oldest reservoirs 
in Saurashtr^ helow which rs an attractive shaded farm belonging to my cousin 

LIT n ^^tl ^/T^^^ ^'' " '*^°^^^ "^ "'^^^ ^^ euphemistically callad ^aste 
land, all pitted during the tii.e the earth was dug up for the da..- These 

pits axe filled with water seeping fiom one of the irrigation canals. The 
wasteland is a veritable paradise for birds. X± was hexe that years ago. I 
saw my first Pitta, Its descendant stills axxives. regularly prior to the 
onset of the ^ rains. 

What had bEsn a tahgled Jungle hes beEri gently landscaped by a very good 

friend who lives jjlmos-^ a hfixmlts life here ifi a t^o xnom house. He has 
auxrounded hiirn-lv by ah^da laving plants with bright chiys^nthamunia and 
variegated bnugjain'^illaeas in the fow sunny patchas. It is an idyllic 


11th moxning was Gns of thoEs Sauxashtrian vjintax Tnorninga when a boisterDus 

vjind make everything danca. The wind, the brilliant sun, ard the coal 
morning malfc such days dali^htful oncB-orf^ gets nut of the hbLt^e, „ Even ztte 
birds were vaxy active; -'--.. 

The most apectaculgt displays v^ara by some of the xaptnrs. Usually, on a 
coldchilly iTiaxning thay axa rather sluggish, ths absence cf air currsnts 
to provide lift makes them loth to -t^^ vjing until faixly late when tha 
first updrafts start rising, Evan then, they, graceful it is true, tsnd to 
soex lazily^ Dn a windy morning thsy come into theit element end what 
spectacular demonstration of aeronautics they provide! 

On this particular morning we watched a Himalayan Black Kite - subspecies 
Of DUX Pariah Kite, a Booted Eagle, a Langlegged Buzzard and a Kestrel. 
Both the Boated Eagle and the Kite were soaring against ths wind, the former 
above at over 5D0 ft. Suddenly, we watched it through our glasses, it closed 
Its wings and pluiiietted head' down onto tlis kite below it," It mads us ell 
gasp in admiration- Then fnllawcd a feu minutes of dog fighting. The kite 
was,- however, well able to evedt tha attacks of its rival and the eagla soon 
decided to give up its belligerency- Aa the kite came lew over, almost 
stationary agginst the brisk gale, we wo-re able to appreciate why it is 
called a kite. Also, wa could clearly ace the white bases of the primsries 
which are good 'field identification marks. 

Hardly, tiad tha^' Eagle end Kite oombat ceased whan s male kestrel who had 
baen sitting aheltercd from the wind caine on to entertain us. Fox minutes 
'on end it stayed stationsry ageinst the wind and that tno without even 
beating its ^jingal From time to time it would make sudden stoops on some 
prey-' unseen tc us and after each stoop wculd use the momentum to rise still 
higher. Suddenly, it dropped, swept low elong the dem and over it to 
swiftly slant down onto a flock of feedirrj Ashycxowned Finch Larks, The 
hapless laxk just made it to safety. It was a neax miss. 

□ucr the lake wexo Lc^sser Terna, Whiskered Terns, a Slack Ibis and a large 
Tlack of Little Coxmorants - the coxmorants did not appreciate the wind 
shipped surface fox fishing in gnd sat gloomily on an "island, but the terns 
were all action- Both common and djmoiaellc cranes atarted flighting in 
'gS- we retraced pur steps to the lunch area, 

'^"iCf 'i:S stJTprising how very many bird enthusiasts tend net to hear birds, 
unless, that is^ they arc rcelly noisy or repititiOMs- Among tha trees 
were green - or wcxa they the greenish ■" leaf warblers, white-eyes, 
Tickcl^s Blue Flycatchers, Greyhefided Fivcatchers, a Whitebrowed Fantail 
Flycatcher, several very smait Black Redstart males hopping arcund manure 
heaps, elegant Green See-eatera and the ubiguetoua fiedvented Bulbul, 

A stroll along the nearby rivetbed gave us e pair of Pied Kingfishuc 
ad^iirably seated close to each ether to make CGmparison bpt^.een tha 
male and tho famsle, amortg thn reads werfi seu^ral Plain Lonatailcd Warblers 
and a bittern pxosumed ±a be a Cheatnat Bittern- Tha Whitobreaa ted 
Waterhana and the Menrhens whieh favour the flooded pits kept well hidden 
among the reeds and we did not ae& tham- 


On dry cliffs bounding the rivgt w"# aaw a coupia of Striolated Buntings, 
ecveral Tawny Pipits, flocks of Ashycrowncd Finch Lorks and aGveral very 
confiding Rufoustailed finch Larks, The nearness, the magnif icatien 
through glasses revealad the thick finch-lifce bills which gi^e bqth these 
iarks their double names. 

Later in tha afternoon i^e watched a tractor ploughing in e nearby fiirin. 

A le3:gc flock _ of Hdnk Mynos and Black Dronges wora in lively attendance. 
It was ^ faeQtnating.oi^fet. Then there were Rosy Pnstors, Ccmmon %nas , 
Ro5Gringed Parakeets, Houae Sparrows, HoLisa Crows, Blue fiock Pigeons, 
Little Bxown end flingad Doves. Dverhead were Common Swallows, Rcdrufiiped 
SwollQws, 5and Martins, and House Swifts ameng others which 1 failed to 
registGr, The very pleasant day was tE?rniin;"ted by two whitebellied 
Drongos flying in to wish us a farewell. Had 1 made a gronter effort 
I would have seen many more speciaa but 1 did not attempt to go after them 
and instead just let them come to ma. It wes a very luisurely and moot 
enjoyable bit of birding I have dene. Actually., I ■HEai'd morB than I saw. 

B.irdwntching from Jodhnur to Cgne Comerin by Indr^ Kumar Shor 


In October 19S0 I travelled from Jodhpur to Cape Comerin and during Eny 

travels, ?nd while staying in various towns and cities I locked closely at 
-the birdlife to see the distribution ef the various species in the different 
parts of our eeuntry. I tried to reLato the species to the environment, 

I made notes about the evi-fauna pres-ent in different environments, for 

example in scrub jungle tha Ring Dove, Little Brown Dovs, and_SDmE species 
of Larka were abundant in Rajaathan and Gujerot, feirly common in Maharashtra, 
but very scarce further south. In Rajasthen end Gujarat, as well as in 
Medhya Pradesh, Doves, fladvented BulbulSj white-chGcked Bulbuls, Grey 

Shrikes, and Common Babblers were abundant, but in the south in the 
seuie kind of country they were hardly observc:d- 

In agricultural fields, everywhere , while cultivation was in progress, 
there were plenty o'f Black Drongos, Ccmiiien Green Bee-eaters, Pond Herons, 
Little Egrets, and Indian Rollers- The Chestnut Bittern was observed 

in some parts of Kerale, The Common Myne wae ohscrvad throughout my 
journey in agricultural fields often in associ^tien with cattle. 

In the towns in Rejnsthan, Gujeret and Homhey, the Blue Rock Pigeon, the 
HouBo Sparrow and the Roseringeo Parakeet were commonly seen, but wore 

not in evidi?ricc in Madros> Trivandruni and othex south Indian cities. Dn 
enquiring about this in Madras I waa toid that pigcont| spHrrows, and 
parakeets arc camrrion ijxnEind Marwuri localities where pec^jli: feed them, 
and later I irfan able to canfirm thia statement. It shovja that spnit? birde 
arc wholly dependent an mjin fox food and^xeside in places where humans Icok 
aftar their interest- I find that in south Indian cities the Perish Kite, 
the House Crow ond the Jungle Cxow wore much more ccrumun then inrtirth 
Indian cities. Along the sea shores ond villages the Brahminy Kites wEre 
often Been, and they appiirantly haws plenty of food in the way of offal 
and other itcmE in the streets and in the bazars. 

In any smell pond in fJerth India the Bl^jcki-jingi^d Stilt, Snottcd Sandpipety 
Comman Sandpiper, Little Stint, Rodwattled Lapwing end Little Egret ars 
^omtrion, but in south India I could only see the Little E:gret and occasionally 
the Common Kingfisher^ In ponds neai: uilloijes there were often large 
numbers of domestic duck in the south ^^nd thsse duck ere never observed 
in north India, 

It is -obvious thet the human factor plays a vital role in the occurence of 

birds in different areas. In Rajasthan and Gujarat the lecal population 
rigidly protects birds and also feeds them- Consequcntl;' the House Sparrow, 
the Blue Rock Pigeon, Parakeets ond Peafoi™i are plentiful. These species 
aro often absent in south India because the humans do not look on them with 
a friendly eye. As I indicated earlier species like the pigeon and the 
sparrows in Madras ebound only around Mar^^ari localities, 

I would like to know from my south Indian' birdwntching friends whether 
what 1 have said is correct, cr whether I was uiistaken, ns i may well be, 
because of limited observation during a brief tour- 

j_ir.d5 in the.Hain by. Ananta Mitra 

From the evening of ZCth September 197^ till the morning nf :^Dth September 
1976 Cslcutta and its suburbs xeccived g record amount of rgin » In 24 houxa 
there was 37 cm. of rainfall and the sky remained ousrcast throughout, 
sometimes with long spells of rain accoir^anied with thunder. 

My house in Tollygunga, a southern suburb of the city, ouErlooks a large 
mosque surrounded by a semi-wild garden of 2 acres. In the vicinity there 
is a dried-up pond which collects vjater during the rains » This garden 
contains about 30 species of birds and during these days of heavy rain 
I tried to find out how the birds reacted to the unusual weather* For 
"this invgEtiijetion I divided the spells of rain into four periods 
A,B,C and D, according to whether the showers were heavy^ moderate, light 
or non-eJflstent, 

As I had Expectsfl-no hi-d waa vis-iib-ls during a heai^ stiowec and hirdlife 
in tha garden sEemed to he almost extinct. Dicing ihe pE-iod of moderets 
tain, house sparrows arc! hotise nrDws i^*?rE seen and the :atnLr birds in 
evidence luera Rock Pigeon, Brpwn Shrikes, Cor. mon Mynn, Redvented Bulbul 
and Tailor Birds, The p aricd pf light djriz^iing, when rain occasionally 
ceased, was the most productiVG pf all, Aftar the heavy incessant ri^ins g 
large number of birds emerged from confinament. I ssw Houe'2 Crcw! 


■Biidinq in and'Alr ound HvdGrabad rity by 5 Ashck Kum^ 

The A,P- Birdwatchers Club members rietit hirding in Banjara Hills aTQa 

on 26-1G^l5aa, Capt, N5 Ty^bji, Heny. Representative, W-India and 
Mr. Puahpa Kum^r, Conservator of Fcrcsts, Wild Liff,, .^aptainod the teain, 
Ihe group headed eastwards towaxds s tiny valley. While nenotiatinq the 
gentle :Lncline cf the ..cund cvsrlcoking the valley, we ^pw a pair of Blua 
Rock Thrush perched upright an a boulder. It uas Unmistakable that the 
blue one was a male and the groy-hrown, a female. On a nearby bpulder ■ 
were. a pr.j.r of Indium Robins silhouetted against the grey sky, Dartinq 
across our path „e saw a flash of green - the -■ Coni-^an Bee-eater ^ith 
outstretched Wings and Pintail, while advancing foi^^ard, eux attention 
was- drawn te a .distant twit-twit Cfiili.HhicEi was undoubtedly that cf the 

The grD„p continued its trek arri fnund a Bla::k HedEtart, nbviD^^ly a male 

li 2d"% ^™ +"' ^""^^^^ *° anPth.r. Tho .ensta^t shiv.xi,,g of tail ^akea 
^ts identificatinn easy, while .^limbing down the ^alley-P.'dp, a pair of 
H-foU5tailed Finch Larks a.liied forth, and p^chsd on s sorub aoxcsa the 
vslley «Ere a pair nf Black Dfngos. Di/cr the o^Est of the hill hovered 
a REStrei in mid air spearing momentarily stationary. Reaching tha baao 
Pf the valley v,e akixted .long ita .ido and sighted a singing Su^h Lark, 
the small Indi,-,n Sky Lark, Indian Wren Warbler and tho Ashy Wran Warblai 
Iha valley terminatad iij 3 marshy tank atxangely devoid of water birds. 

On 5-1]-19eQ the taam' visited Palmakols, 15 milca frem Hyderabad. We mada 
c-ur way thipugh the fields to tha village" tank where tha following hLds 
wera identified, and as will ba ae,n helcnged to 2I Families. -. 


LaHi^aei Brown Shrike 

Motacillidfu^ ; Tree Pipit,Meadcw Pipit, Yellow Wagtail 

£i££uridae; Black Drorgo 


Huacic.arlcl^e: Faniail Wscbler, Indian Wxeo-Waj^bXer, Biyth'B Reed Warbler 
C.harodr:idaj^ SpottGd Sandpiper, Little 5tint, Little Ringed Plpver, 

ncdEhiink, M^rsh Sandpipor, Green Sandpiper 
Ala<idid^g t Ashycrn^ned Finch-^L^rk, .. Sykes's Crested Lark, Redwinged Bush 
^.1 \ Lark 

Ard^idpR: Purple Heron, Pcnd Hernn, Little Egret, Sitralier Egret, Ersy Heron, 

Accipitridsg: P^lc Merrier, Mareh Harrioi* Pariah Kite *renialo 

PlocEjidTg : Whitothxoatcd Munia 
_R[?cury_i .rDs tridaE J Blackwinged Stilt 
__■ H i r u n d i n i d ap : Wioretailed Svjallovj, Commnn Swallow 
£allidj^_q: Whit ehrcas tifd WciterhBn,Caot 
^urhinia^e ; Great Stone Plover 

Anatidae: BluGwingcd Teal, Camman Pnchard, Tufted Pochard, Spotblll 
l-aridgo : Whiskered Tern 

Jurvidae i HqUss Crow r 

jt'Jrnidjc j ConrmDn Hyna ' 

^eropidaq : Eretn Bee-eatsr, BlUetailed Bee-eatEr 

■Coraciid^p: Indian Roller 
PVcnorintidae ; fledvcnted Bulbul 
■PadiciPBdidae ; Dabchick 

At the.invitption of XCRI5AT ( Internstional Crop Research Institute for 
SejTpi Arid Tropics), the team went birding in ICfllSAT campus en 20-11-80. 
Consisting of c few hundred acres, the Campus provides a good habitat 
for birds because of its several lakea and varied vegetation- The following 
[2S) variEtiee of birds wore recorded, including a pair of Black Ibis with 
their spcctaculer crinvsen crowns . A lore Mersb Harrier waa an unfar- 
gBttoblir: sight. 

TainilieB _ ■ - 

_AnatidjE:_BT-ahii>iny Euck, Spothill Duck, Pintail 

P_ellid_ac : Indian Moorhen 

AccicitridaL! ! Marsh Horxier, '----".\ . - ^ 

ftlcedJ.niH^^- Whitebxeas ted Kingfisher 

Muscicaoidgg- Blyth^E Reed Waxbler, Pied Bush "Chat, Indian Wren Warbler 

Chars'driid-jii Common Sandpiper, Redwattlcd Lapwing, YoUow-wattlad 

Lapwing, Grcenshank, Plover [Sp,7j, ' Little Ringed 

Plover, Redshank , T-fiitlB Sliint 
St.urnidaG ! Conijnon Myna 

P^cnonotidf^s ; Redvented Bulbul ' ' ..... 

JLhr 05 k io r nith ida o i Black Ibis (2) 

AxdEJd^g: Grey Heron, Pond Heron 

fJeour^ii roatxidg^^ : Blackwinged Stilt . . 

J^alr:on jH^^n t Kestrel 

APodid^in - Pslm 5wift ' ■ -. 

£ll3l^£rocD^a_c^do^: Little Cormorant (2) ' 

□n 5-12-19B0 wc visited Chilkur village Incatud betwnEin thn two cjrest laksa 
of Hydexabqd ci-ty Himayatsfignr and OsTnijnsagar, It was sunny and warm when 
we Entered ths Lnclosed forest icssrve af a few hundxed acrsis , The area is 
chiefly dry thorn-scrub cnuntry with bouldEr!.-, Hd5 t of thu hirds identified 
atE open r^nuntry birds. It was fascinr.tirig to W£itch a pair of Hgrriers and 
a Blackwinged Kite camplttaly dmi^inaiting the sky sbeue> 


Motaeillid3<3 ! Tawny Pipit 

_Char£^driida.e. r Ycliow-wattled Lepwing, Vfood Sandpiper, Littls Stint 

.C anpephaaidae ! Black headed Cuckop-Shxiko 

■Ar.otida^ : Pintail, Wigeen, Tufted Pochard 

Psltt^eid^.e : lleRsornhBaded Parakeet 

■Ace Id itjid_a_g : Pale Harrier, Blackwingcd Kite 

ilirundinld.a_e ; Wi^atailed Swsllew 

Muscicgpidea j Indian Robinj Pied Bush Chat 

^ycnnnotidae : REdvented Bulbul 

^aluinbitiaE i Little Brown Doi/e 

.geeurviros tridi^e i Bleckwinged Stilt 

-Lj^niidnp : Rufous backed Shrike, Grey Shrike 

jS.turnj-d^ag i 'Hrinhiihiny Myna 

■Alaudidag : BU£h Lark, Rufcustailed ^Finch Lark, Cxasted Lark 

Uicruridae : Black Drengd 

C.orc^ciidaa : Indian i^oller 

Aj d eid a e ; Pond Htron, Little Egret 

jJareDidae ! Common Green Bee-egter 

r ■■■ ■---.< 


.Comments on the Mewaletter 

I find the lovely Chestnut he; aded Beo-eater much in the news. 1 may point 
□Ut that the Erecn Bec-eoter often shows a very coppery glint on the head 
seen Qt certain angles, and can be cenfuscd for the current favourite. The 
latter lacks the elongated ccntr.Tl tail pins, but these cen be broken or 
frayed in the Green Bcc-eater- So befero iihouting Chcj tnutheadcd, do please 
circle the bird/s under obserwsition. In oijr port of the country wo might be 
very lucky to gst another, species to cenfuse us - the European Bee-eater* 
This also has a chsstnutiah hcnd. Both this and the Chea tnut headed have 
yellow thref.ts contra {jreen or blue of the Ere en Ben— eatrr , The European 
BeE-BBter is a rather rare winter rnigrant or autumnal possage migrant to 
N*W» India - Gujarat birdwatchers do keep a look out* The Blue-cheeked 
Bee-Heater is another bird to be found in the f^W and the \/ery similar Blue-" 
tailed Bee-eater in other parts of the country. Both are considerably larger 
then the Green Bec'-Bater, They botli leek the chestnut or the coppery shine 
on the head which is green* So much for the Dhestnu theaded Bee-eater - a 
lovely bird indeed which 1 hope turns up in my gaxden hut which if it does, 
Ud think twice before shouting - it could be the European and even then 


l^d liks? to have □ fxiend a3:giind to be ^ witness, and I'd --■Iwsys s av 
^'probMy" bEfTo lu^ntioning tho sp^ci^s bb that gro^t ornith ulogis t of 
my college days, Horace Alexander taught me by prcct^t. 

In the January 19S1 fJcw^lattcr en pagcf vi« hgV. Sandhu and Rao talkinq 
Df the Lagspx l^rey Shrike - I quickly^l^oked up the Synon^i^ hv D. flinlev 
and quoter i- ^^ 

? Lanius minoj? EmGlin 
Losaer Grey Shiikc 

BroGdE in soath and eentxsl Eurepo, Asia Minor, East to TLirkestsn, wintt^rinc 
Xn Southern Africa ^ 

937 7 Lanius niinar 

Range - said to have been obtain^'d in Baluchistan, at 
QuGtta (Cumining) and Chainan fCurnming IBBG); 
specimen not known to ba in existence. 
So, the bird probably tha Grey Shrik at Lanius oxoubitojr L Judging from 
a^^ail^ble lilustxations, it ±s xathcr difficult to tall the two spaciea 

''^f It^!'^^ "^^^^^ ^P^^^ ^^^'^ ^'^^ ^""^ diff^r^nce ^ if they are togt^thar - 
and th(. black forehead in the Lesser Gray Shrike, 

Referring ag, to thia note, it is elwE^s a touch and go be^tween the Searlet 
Mmivet and the Lengtailed Minivat. In ±he north Indian plains the chances 
are that tha birds most eOTumonly scon are pxeb.-bly the latter. This brings 
"ie to tha Chastnuthegded Wuth^teh, surely this is the Ghes tnutbellied Wuthatch 

In the same issue en page 4 Ud^^an Mahta mentions Boeing n Brownheadod 
.Sterkbilled Kingfisher {Palagerpsis capsnsisj. The synop^ia gives Suret 

iJangs as the nearest to Saurnshtra, However, ^a have had tha Blackcapped 
Kingfisher Rajkot when the Surat Dongs were its recorded lipiits en the 
weat eoast, so there arc ell ehonees of tha storkbiUcd ilurning up at 
Vereval, but all such records need to be :carefullv tiatad and raccrda 
sent to the Benibay fJntural History Society for its joumol- 

Let me haaten to conclude - I ■am not quastioning enyones benafidcs, but 
moxcly^ Stating the need to he very oeraful in claiming unusual bird sightings - 
whara the chances of being mistaken are gia^t- 

Lavkiimar Khocher 

Birds gf Sukhna L^ke 

I was _ very interested to learn from the hJntc on this oubjact in the January, 
19B1 issue o. the Wewslattex, by Masars Chekraverthy, Sandhu and flao that 
they hadaean a Lesser Erey -Shrike (Laniu^ minor), 

1 wonder if they are absolutely esrtain of thuir identification'^ Mv 
suspocions ware aroused aa sflop aa I pead'bf the sighting. 

On checking I flnd-^that Ripley in the ^Synopsis of the Birds ef Indin and 
Pakistan , P^igc 219, pierces a question ma;ek against tha species, and makes 
It clear that he dDB& not believe it has ever occurred in India or 


Saiim Ali- in tnc ^Handbook of -tha Birds of India and Pahistan^ Vol, 5, 

Pngc ^3 f quniic the status of the birdj but stRtcs that it had btisn - 
obtainc-d nn passtigc (7) naor Quetta in ^cl^ and at Chamoti in April- These 
recard;:, I beiiove, xel^tc to ahnut 1690, Hi3 gpes on to ssy that it 
may nccur'in the W,W, frontier districts of West PakiRtan, 

loth authors make it clc^r that there is ho Bpacimen from India at Pakistan 

It will be appreciated, thExtforaj that if this racord could be stibstan- 
tifltc^dj it Nduld bo ona af great irapcrtancC| and shotild be fully repaxtad 
and published in the Journal of the Bombay /^atui?^! History Society. 

SK Reeves 

Which Bird? - Query by Jasp.ur _NEWS_Qjne 

Jasper Newsoiiio's "Which specias?" (p,2, NGwslettDx, Jan.Bi ) is tha Streaked 
Laughing Thrush { Garrulax ligeatus }, iHustrsted on 

Plate 75 opposite p-iQ* Handbook Vol, 7 

Platqj 22 " P-n2, E- HimalayaE 

Plato 15 ' " p-3fi. Hill Birde 

Salim Ali 

ji!_|-is_5_i a n Ducks Tross Over 

T>j '■ J,-;mniu; JL]n,l6 , 

I loproduco below d nows itain which- appoarad in Ths Hindu dated 

Russian ducks , estimatsd to number about six lakhs , haue croased over to 

Kashmir Valley from the colder regions of Siberia during the last two 
nionths, according to a spnkcsEnan of the Jamttiu and Kashmir GovernTnent's 
Game Preservation Department here. 

About 1 DD apscicE of birds hciue sa^ far been reported in Jairanu and Kashcnir ^ 
Our Correspondent. 

JE David, 

Data Centre, WWF-India 

^ird^ Smunolinq 

Bird smuggling is now mora lucrrztive than drug smuggling - s parrot 
fetching twenty dollars rit the Mexican border would sell for ecven 
hundred dollars in Hous tun. . , »5ales of cockatoosi African grays and 
other tropical birds arc the fastest growing part of the U5 pet industry,*-, 
A store called "Parrot Jungls" which displ^iys birds on open perches started 

two years ago in New York area - it now has thr^e stores Fifty 

thousand parrots with a street valuo of -tan tiLillion dollars were smuggled 
into Toxcis in 1375, 

Arun Bhetia 


BIuE Rock Pigeans ^n.d. Lanql5i3Jjii_d._Euz:^fM:cf 

BatE:t£-1 2-19BD; TiinG:l5,a5 hours: I was sitting in my poxch, when sr\y 
Bttention was drawn by n flock af abou-t 25 Blue Rock Pigeons cir.cling 
Eirmund a eoaring Longlciggcd Buzzv.:cd, whose identity was apparent by its 
size slightly smaller than □ Parish Kite^ xeundad rufous tnil, blsick tipped 
wings and r^ brownish black caxpnl patch- Blue reck pigeons were ob^/iously 
bullying it but the Suzzaxd did not seem to be annoyed by th[^» and only 
now and then trii?d to go away by diving a few feet ond suddenly chnnging 
its direction. This went an fox about ten Tuinutea, till a Pariah Kite catfte 
close to the scene and the Biuc Rock Pigeons changad their direction to go 
awtay. Af.tex this, the Buzzard snared away leisurely looking downwards and 
moving its head from side to side, obi/iously looking for prey on tha ground. 

Time 15.35 hours: the aamo buEz^xd was soaring high in the Sky and tviaPsriah 

Kites were now end then ottecking it. The buzzard didn't pay much attention 
to them except for changing its direction suddenly, when the kites came Vary 
clasG to it. This went on for about four minutes, after which the Kites 
went ewiny. 

Qr, Ashak Kumar Sharma 

pur ContribLitoTs 

Mr, Lavkumar KhachRc, 14, Jayant Society, Rajkot 36C 004, Gujarat* 

Mr, Indra Kumar Shaxma, Hhagwati Bhavan, Rotanada Read, Jndhpur 342n2a> 

Mr, Aranta Mitra^fi/I, PA Shah Road, i:alcutta TOD 033. 

lerabari 500 026, 

Mx-JE David, Hota Centxa for Watural Resources .c/o.Dynacreft Machine Cn, Ltd,, 

1st FloQx, fyo,36, VII Cross, Vasanthnogax, Ban^alnxe 560 05?. 

Mr- Arun Bhatia, S1 Hont Slanc, Nepaan Sea Hoad, Hembey 40D 006. 

Br. Ashok Kumar Shaima, 54, Avinaah Path, Dhuleshwer Garden, Jaipur 3D20D1, 

5ubscri o.tior for the vegx 19B1 have he en x-.ecBJVed fro m: 

Mahar^.ahtia: Mr.^E Ambadkar, 4/14, PuxuEhiJttaTn Wagar, BandrejBonibay ,Ps.15/^; 
Miss J Chapman, St. Hilda's Boarding, c/o. 5t, Monica's Coliega of 
Education, Savadi Head, Ahmednagar, Rs.l5/-i Fr- SJ Navarro, St. Xaviers 
High School, L, Tilak Msrg, Bombsiy 4D0 001,Rs,15/-; The Boys Library, St- 
Xevieis High School, L, Tilek Marg, Bombay 400 00l,Rs,15/-f Mx-BA Pelkhiwalla, 
fflSA, Cedfx, Bombay 400 014 ,Rs, 1 5/-^ Mr.BS Jagadish, Zb, Staff Hostel, 
i'lT, Powai, Bombay 7fi,Rs . 1 3/-; Mx^. Ra^^Ejhi^t -ilftOi 7, Bh.-!T.;^^tiy^: i^h.-^wfij^ 
ffeBi; .jX'd, rhomblnt^dhibEjy Tr,(\^ < lIi/>^ ::" ~; " " ' 


Qgisgg : f^r. Hoci Prasad Patnaik,H,Sc,( Ag, } , Q,^J□,12/1J Unit No,l, 

EhubLincswcix 751 003, District PQii^Rs .1 5/-- 

Andhra PtaJesh : Mr, B. ^idharthsj c/d. Lt. Col. DPP Sharma, '34/Ai 

SantDsh Wsy^r Colony, Hydcr=ibad 5DD 659,^5-10/-! Mr. Aasheesh Pittie, 

U-7-370, Bogum Bazar, Hydexobad 5DD D12,fts,lO/-; Dr. M- Sbivisnaray on, 

Ornithnlog jsl;, Office of the DrnithnlogiG t, Old Insectury Luilding, 

Rajendranogaj:, Hyderabad SDD 03C,R5*^5/-j 

Jljrnatsha ; Mi, MB Kriahn^, Nd,1D, Rfinga Rao Road, Sbankarpuretn, Bangalore, 

560 0D4,Rs.lQ/-; f^r.ST Ramesh, IPS, SuperintEjndent of Pdlicc, Gulbarga, 

Pin 5B5101, Karnataka,Rs,15/-; 

Uttar Pradesb : Mr, YM Rai trcimi,414 , W, Kutchcry Road, Meerut 250 ODI , 

Rs , 3D/-; Dr. Surash Singb, Division cf Pcrasitology , Indian V€?terinary 

Resscarcb Institute, Izatnagp-r^^-l 51 22,Rs,15/-;Mr,Sudhix Vyns ^Lucknow, 1 ,Rs.l5/-; 

■Madhva Pradesb! Mr. AC Mabosh, 70/03/6 Sector, Piplari, Bhopol^Rs ,10/-; 

flJ.^rtP■-£uptE, f"Eiinc3s,fiU]Cel Cif nti:a;^A;9oyliB, "HcabcncBbad , Pin 

J^DW Delhi : Mr.JL 5ingh,C-494, DafencG Colony, Wow Delhi 110 024,fis.25/-; 
Lt, Cd1,aA Dauid, A/1, Officers Qucxtcra, Did Blue Lines, DDlhi-54 jRe.15/-j 
Tainil hijdui rit, Lt, S. Rangaawnmi, H-21-E, 5outh Avenue, Tiruvcinmiyiir, 
Madrns 41 ,FJej.15/-; Maatcr D 5bct:^r,6, (Plot No,4D), East 3Td Bt,, 
Tiruvanmiyur, MDdr;:is 4l,Ra,10/-f Master \l Ramgcpal, H-20-F, South Auenue, 
Tixuuanmiyur, Mcidras 4l,R5,lO/-; Shrimati PLlnk^jt^^l Siv,Tri:iTni::n,7l , 5pur 
Tank Road, Chptpct, Madras 31 ,Rjr .1i3/-f Mr. M^ fiamaniDOEthi,5/15, Middle 
Street, Mudikondnn 609502, Rs ,1 5/-; 

Gu.i-zr.-.t; Mr,NB Phnnsi;, Dy, Carndt., 48 BN E5r, Bbuj (Kutch), 37001 5,Rs >15/-f 
KcxalG i Prof, Jobn C Jacob, President - Seek, Edat PO 670 327,^5,15/-; 
Pxcf. KK PJcclGk-ntan, 26/1643, Unni'5 Lane, Trivandrum 5?5O0l ,Rb .1 5/-; 
Dr,KV Sraenivcis^n,T,i:,l/2113,Karthika, Kumaxapuxam, Triv/andrtim 695011, 

J^broo_d: Mr. SK Reevea, 6, Town Clnse, Holt, Norfolk, England, 5 Pounds; 
Mrs. EWS Robertson, "Mortindale", Edston Royal, Pcwsey, Wiltshire, tnglond, " 
3 pounds? Mr^ Ashok Kumnr, Al-ruttairfi lower 5caffelding, P,0,Box 5502, 
Dubai, UAE,Rs.100/-;Mis5 Ann Talbot Smith, 1303, Killincy Apts,, 147, 
Killiney Road, Singapore 90923, 5pounds. 


ii53 aja?i, sS'L^jI'r! Sit^?^ ^,** S5ci3dirt^ ddi . 
^;o^3^Doii ?;ij^?ijtdi E^j^ifS "'^'^^ I:>ri3ij d::^i . 

j^'3?j,dn^ djfOc"^ ^oaW ^&flcdoC ^^jd 50cd 2^, ■a^^. 

S^i^ ^it^ii '^d^.^F i:lJ^^3^ ^:^r^ ^73.^ =^^OjS" Sofid ^ Sj^ yjij.r^ 3,50 dj=, H^ji^ :lr=ScJiiSo^ 

T^,& s^^ir^Bfi r^sdij^M^ ^idjaD^ft:^ Cfjsi^rfC ir^adjsfSS ^d.^^ ^.^^jai^ slj^ij^ ^ ^^es^Wda' stii^;^^ 

^L'^j^Ji^j^'d^a. B^jco^Scdaf^o^^ tiJjjStia ddd ^i^Dod KSi.>fSJ ^^^i fii^o^joi ^fd?5(5id dj^dj tfoag 

ervi33jdtfojl ^&jdan ?cG^^^g ^ri^cdj^d ^^ dj^oKiJi^di:! ^S/^ 3^^,cjiJ jiSiited do^g f:inri^c& 3j^fr siji^^saB 

oasid Koodj^d ^Sf^ri^^j, K^d a Ka^a;o ^eesd ^Sij^jfg ^d?i, cfljs^c^ ^dj;0j;^i ?ic=iFd^ -L^cd:; 

dg' ^.rT?&^n^^ij^ ^ i*j?^,e]^ diJo^ t-'d-id jfjrljjirls?/^ ii^EJi^adj ^l^f^^;^ diSi. e3^:Ci^]"i'^^\ ^fii^jand, i^d 
X="^^ij' ^n^jDcriCnun d;:;?^^.! ^s>jrde)J Sis' ddc^dQciJ IS ^j^^JJ djs.rl'^ ^dd^j^ d li [>:!■: eii rid. 

^^dcnjj&n^ ^^iry^ djd^^rf jodi^ri-J^i^ siOfSC^ ^^?^;^^a rt jJ^jiS ^^trftiJ d^^Fd ?rcrf_^^ di^^d dirt^a 


^jD^^di^ 1^,8 ^--v^e^ djs.rii^, ^?^cJ ^o^^ ^fOB^B o3;^e^^oJ^5 Ji^dSd© 5i|_s^j^j E^ocd^]^ ^'a:^^i5 f 

^A^tT^rt rscdTOF'^D?^^'!^ sj^^^^'^ ^^*i, ^^^^^^ (^^tj^ri^i. osw^d, ^^£fl "c'^o'sriD ^e>!|3, aj^o^eji 
jjfcr&dB B^CF^dj ;j?3sdtlg iS?^3. w^^t, ^hthiSiTi Jjbsfc; 2 9S(>-^31 dg 30,000 ^josrfn ?piijr[^^i^ 

l<?R:?rie e^( T^J^iqi.rrf ijdd^ ^Ws^ 19H4C?;.'a cso^J^Ftio^ dKiddiS. 

^rii^77eo^i^^do7:i^cdi^-^i^a5f^D^^^ flnii,-^ li^^id ^s:;;!^^^ ^s-srrf^ ES^f^iaJd tf^ ^Ij^^jl-^ i^i^s^t^j^ 

500 6siM ^i^},'^ ^'f^^ ^ti^o^ftii- 

4 ?pid 3j i^ioSj, E^E^a ^^f^iJrl^i ^iE(Jn l-adj T^cdj s^fi^^o B-^^f^S ^„^0c^^_, =jioaj^O-t.§. 

^OuE^d ^?3^FcJ^tf^ i^ijQ r.^fi J9S0^Sl^^ S2^r,iir\ 64 ifjaty dji.ri'^ ^c^E:^ djSfi:;^Cdjrfl^ li^^rijgV^^SAiS, 

rrSfi^Qtd rfoEdSF dj^^^n^J^, IS. 7 ^j^^lj Oj^.r^i s^rsi, 

^5i ^ ;^3-ro Pa^^^o fiasco ^(^s;:!^ ^^o"?? ^3% ;^i'dj ^(i^i^d dt^^. 

iQSld ji^DUcr'^^odd ^i4f^ tn^w^d id.s^^rtJ^ e^adiJ^ r>t(Ji di3^ a^^aiS s^'ja "^„^^a -^j"^^^ ^-.tTs^ 

lysodg i,0003jSs lS^i, c^^ji-^i^ s^^^^*" ^^^■ 

^;?^ ssd^o^j So^^akF^ (Ejie?i^nT.j^ 2,400 ^.sifU c^.n^ ^s^/^ ii^'o^^j :|djsd ?jeti?jan;3. 


^- ■^ 





Editor: Zafar Futehally 

Dodda Gubbi Post, Via Vidyanagarn Bangalore- 562134 

Annual Subscriplion Rs. 15/- ^T 

Cover Picture : Blacktailed Godwit (Llmosa limosa) 
Phato by: E. Hanumantha Rao 



Vol. XXI Wn,3-4 Hsrch-Apiil 1991 


Some New RecDrds froni Kadrsfi City by V Santharam, 

The Bird Mystery of Lunglie, Mizoram with commEnts on the bird 
phE.npmenDn of Hafiang by KR Rgo. 

Interesting Behaviour of Caged ParakeEt by G Suderaban Raa- 

TwD additiana to the bitda of KErala by L Wamassivayam and PS Sivaprasad. 

White Storks on MsTgration by AC Karat, RP Haran and John P Seluati, 

Crows resent intrusion b^ others during a meal hy CK Ananthaaubramaniain, 

Export of Bird&v (CourtaSEy Hindustan Timee, March 2, 19fll)» 

" -pQcreBp ond ep_c_^ 
Birdwatching in the Punjab by II Kxupanidhi, 

Rosy Pastors at Ahmgdabad hy PS Thakker. 
The Chestnutheadad BEe-aater by PT Thomas. 

Our Contributora 

SubscriatiQns and D on ations 



_(^ojibined^ ^M_ar[ JV:AiV^^iJ--_J-g . g-kJe = I have been on tour a great dcr,! lately and 
regret thst 1 in'^s not able to produce the harch issue of the Newsla'cter 
in time. The March and April issue is therefore a cnmbincd one. 

* f-f ****** Jfr f H*-*** 

A. Vialt to the Nendl Hills : The PJandi Hills only about 4D milsG frana 
Bangal^Ti? is a pl'Jraaant locality for birdwatchers- Dns unu&ual feature 
IE that the road to the top of tho 4DU0 foot hill max^IGs well into the 
hill aide and is 3 good exantple of hcif^ these roads should be niads, ftJandi 
«y ears ia the place where in the early *of thia century Euc;3lyptus hybrids were 
devG loped and the hill has a large pepulatiun of thesis exotica. This is 
e pity from the birding paint of Mi-EiV for thate i.;ould have been many mora 
birds if the endemic flarg had been retained. However, one has to be 
grateful for such greenery aa <these EucalyptUB provide, " 

There are a number of evergreen species on the tap of the hill and one of 

them which i- was .able' to identify (because of the sign board on the tree) 

was Hiniusops elangi. This tree appears tu have, a wide range for it also 
■ grows aruund the sea coasts in Bombay as well as in the interior of Maha- 
raahtra- JS Gamble in the Flore of Madras says that it is ^'A email i^ee 
vjith rather small leaves scarcj^ly three inches long in dry forests, a 
large one with much larger Icgucs in dJamp localities." The large number 
.pf fruit trees inWandi provides sustenance "ror-: the Bonnet Macaque which 
appeared ta be well fad; and judging by the number of young the trDsp ie 
in a healthy atate* 

The bird life consisted of many interesting species. There were a couple 
of Indian Kestrel whose deep yclloij legs attracted attention,- --Mr . &. Mrs. 
Richard FittLfr, who wera with us, commented on the colojr differences 
between the Indian and the European race- The Indian Kestrel is just 
light brown with black streaks on the breast, 1 think I saw a fenfale nf 
the redhreasted flycatcher, Thie ia a-'bird which 1 havo seen after many 
years, my last recollection is of a bird which used to visit our garden 
in Bombay in winter, Wc also .aaw the little brown flycatcher which con 
be identified by its ifery large eye. This too was a bird which used ta 
visit our garden in Bombay, There were severjil leaf warblers which were 
difficult to identify. The minor variations in the colour of the eye 
brows and the minute differences in the colour sheding of the breast and 
the rump feathers are diagnostic marks for people v^ith better eyesight 
and identification abilities. One bird defied identification and defeated 
aveTi Richard Fitter at least on that d^^. This was grey and yellow 
miniuet like bird and several hours spent in the study locking over re- 
jF ere nee bocks fai-ioij to yield, any concXusive rcs'Ult-, But Richard pursued 
'his investigations and was able to confirm the ne>it day that the bird 
vjas the yellowthroated hulhul (Pycnonotus :<antholaemug) j The Handbook 
Vol. 6, page 55, says "Residentj uncommon end patchily distributed* 

DrisBB(7}^ Southern findhra Pradesh, Tarnil Npdu, MysorE ±ri i;he dry 
Chitnldrug ;?Tid Bsng.-.Iore District!^. One old xscord in Keriala tftncinialai 
■HilJ,5.) - WTr- Daviftsun, 1666, lbis:t46; frcirr c,600 to l^ODi^p Affects 
Bp''aisc ihorn scrub jungle intcxsperstjd with some large trees among 
broken stony hillocks." 

In the Bvoning members of the Bicd Foundation of Bangalore came over ta 
meet the Fitters and we had an enjav-:ible walk to the two tanks, cme at 
Dodda Gubbi and the other at Billeshwara. The latter contained 3 large 
number of m^rshi wood and corcimon sandpipers. Thera were nany blackwinged 
stilts, a large congregeition of little and madian egrets end 3 few large 
egrets. There was qIsd one example of the black form of the little 
agret which does net ,Tppaar in the Hendbooka There were acine brpwnheaied 
gulls, a cGLiple cf grey herens, a fair number of painted storks, as wall 
as white ibis. There were seuural interesting birds of prey including 
pariah kite and brahminy kite. One bird high up looked like the shart- 
tocd eagle* 

Incidentally during a walk with tha ^ittFirs on .the previous day in tho 

same- area we saw both the European cuckoa as well as the Indian cuckoo. 
The Indian cuckoo .is slightly larger (7 ) than the European one and the 
tail markings are' diagnestic . 

Around the Bedda Gubbi T&nk tho pallid harrier find the marsh harrier kspt 
the birdwatchers enthralled by their ex truer din ary powers of flight. Here 
we were olso nblc- tq see three sp^ciea of kingfishers the v,'hitebreasted, , 
the pied, and the little or commoh. 

Same of the other birds we s^w duiing our walk wore tho Indian roller, tha 
tree pipit, spotted dovLi, common gresn beo-eatcr, CDmmnn awsllowi? , wira- 
tailed ewallows, pied bushchat, ioras", hoopoes and keel. There wera some 
spafcies of larks which could not be cloarly identified. 

.The Keel Puzgle ; Mr, ^ Mrs, Richard Fitter were in the Maldives for a week 
before coming over to Einngalere Einc while there they came across a koel 
pUi^le, While staying on Villingili they aaw'geueral pairs (at leest 
three) of koele { Eudynamys scolopacea) in tha thick scrub which bed grown 
up in the coconut plantations< Howavcr, there wore no crows at all, aa 
all tha house crows were deliberately e>: terminated by shooting sojne ten 
to fifteen years previously ns they had become pests. The problem is how 
the keels are maintaining thomscluos in the abaence of their normal nest 
providers, De our readers know of any koel population existing in tha 
absence of crows^ 


The Royal Sticietv far the PratEctia n af BiJ.da i The R5PB is appsrently 
Europe's Isrqfcst Nature Ccnsexvatinn Society, Tounded in lasg, its 
preEETit membership exceisde 3,30, □□□. -It lapks aftei 90 nature reserves 
and is most sctiue in invastig^tina offencER against acts relafcinci to 
the pratectinn of bixda. It haa s tiiFiula-bed young peaplRs interest in 
hirtSa by cutinga, courses, cornpstiticinn , and, at preasht the^e-'ar'a over 
e 1,00,000 membeirs of its Young Dinithologia ts Club. 

Those of Qur reedars who axe in a position tn syppoxt the FI5PB might r^ - ■ 
concidgr baconiing Carporgte Membexa* ThcEe intaxested should wxite tn 
Mr. Michsai R Chandler^ Developnient Dflpaxtmcnti The Royal Society for 
the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, 5and^/, Bedfordshire SG 19 ZDL- 

Same Mew REcorda from r^adraa Citv b^ '^ SafttharaTfl 

During tho last 2"3 years 1 h.-^vc been lucky in sighting some new birds - 
now at least to nie . In this ncrto I aummarise all such nev^ sightings. ^I 
am gxeteful to iny friends fxom the "Hadres Naturalists' Society" espe- 
cially R.V, Mohan Rao, S, Ramesh Bhatt end B. Ramanathan and elso to Mr*" 
Bill Harvey of the British Council for theix help, encdursgeTiisnt and 

(l) Indian Elac^^orc^rtgd Baaa (ftviceda loLin'hatBBj. i Soma" of .iny 'friends 
hove xcpoxtcd eceiny thi'^ xarc xeptor in tha Guindy Deer Park, behind the Raj 
Bhauan. 1 hod boon trying to locate it for the paot two years without 
successp But on 11-12-1960 i had the good fortune of seeing it. There 
WExs trfo birds gliding aineng the partly submtrgcd trees of tho KK . Tank 
which was filled up due to the rains. They Ecttled on the bare branches 
of a tree, and in -a few minutes another pair joined theia. All the four 
were sitting close. to one another and vjea?e pxeening. Dtspits the distance 
we noticed their long black crusts moving as the bixds turned theix heads* 
The heed, chin, throat and upperperts wexc black* There wes g thick 
black band on tho lower bxeast^ and horizontal streaks on the belly and 
abdomen. Of the two birds which sat facing us, one had the streaks over 
the whole holly and the other had cnly 4-5 streaks beyond the black band. 
The uppex bxeeet end the abdomen fjnd belly were white. There seeji^ed to 
he soiuE traces of white on the wings as they preened their backs. The 
size of the birds were about thet of a jungle crow. According to Hxj 
Ripley's "Synopsis'^ the renga of this bird f subspecies j Icuphotes) is; 
"Peninsular India in Western Mysore (?) and Keraiaj Ceylon (winter visitor); 
east in southern BursfiSf in tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forest. 
In the rest of its southern range it app^f-rs to be a migrant but the 
distribution retnains to he worked out". The other subspecies A,l, 
ayaina is said to be resident from "Nopal east along the Himalayas through 
Assam and northern Burma to China, A i^inter migrant to tht; Indochinese 
and Malayan subrogions ond possibly Ceylon(7)", Tha Madras museum has in 

its collection a specimen nf the A.l- l.^'uphotcs ^^hich accarding to the 
"Gu;ude tc the Biid Gallery" Hrb beer, ep,>cifically roccrd,.d from Travancare 
and WallorE, 

On 21-l--fl1 WD saw at least one bird at ths grove in Manali, about ig kms 

north of Madras- It was not shy and let os approach it cleac and '50 wa 
had a uery goad look at it, Dnce ar twice it pounced nn some insect and 
caught theiii clinging tn the branches nf the tree and returned to a oon- 
vcnient spat to eat it. It was alFO seen holding the prey in its claws. 
The preuious records by nur friende here auggest that this apEciee is a 
winter uisitor to Madras, 

[2] Malay or Tiger Bittern .(.GorEachius niElanQlophuB) ! Yet another new 
rnoord Trom Euindy Park for this y^^ar is the Tiger Bittern, This bird was 
aeen nn 12,1Z,BD, perehed on a law branch of a ficus tree. There was thick 
undergrowth around and the rain water was stagnant i^ some places. The biid' 
was bigger than the pond harnn- On SEQing us, the bird aesumsd its typical 

lOn Guard" posture - stretching up the neck and facing us. Wo were quite 
close to the bird and there was good light (Time about 1UGD a,tFiJ, We were 
able to watch the bird in this posture for 1-2 minutes during which period 
the bird stood without any TnoucTncnt i^hatsoever. The underparta were buffiah 
white, the feathers en the throat do^n to the lower breast as compared 

to the belly and abdomen which was heavily streaked with dark brown stripes. 
The logs were grey'ish- The eyas ware yellow. When tho bird turned and took 
Wing, I could clearly see the blackish head and cccioital crest. The upder- 
parta also .ippeared to be dark. Before I cnuld notice the wing pattern the 
bird had disappeared from view, I remember having seen the same sort of 
bittern during the last year at the same Icca-lity. 

13) Shortearcd QlvI (Asio flammeus 1 = On the morning of the IBth October I ' 
had been tc the Adyar Estuary and at about T.30 a.m., I saw an owl, about 
the size of a house crew being chased by some c-rows fron. the wcodcd banks oT 
the Theosephical 5ooioty Campus, It hod dark brown upperparts marked with. 
white and black (?) i^nd the tail (not very long) was barred brown end 
white. There was a distinct huffish patch on the prin>eries on the upper 
surface of the wings. The underparts were buffish white with black iii,->rkings 
quito s-imilar to that shown for the spccica in the "Hamlyn Guide to Birds 
of BxitGXn and Europe" including the black p.-jtch near tit hend of the under 
wmg. The throat was pale brown. The owl flew steadily ^ith occasional 
wing beats and alternate gliding like kites and settled on a neem tree in 
a nearby g.irden. The craws chosed it agnip- It provided o aood view, 
■lying quite closa Until it moved further north and disappoaicd, Dn 
31- 2-igaD at c,bout 5,QD p,,., I ^aw th±s bird on the ground in scrub land ■ 
at Adyar Estuary, 1 had not noticed it until it flew when we approached 
It to within 7 to e foot. It was immediately chased by crows and it flew 
over the river. According to Prof, KK f^eelakant^n there heva been 
previous sightings of these birds at Marina Beach 3D to 40 years- ago. 

lAJ.. arangeheaded nrnunH Th-nn.h i7..^ ther,i citrina eitrin.-.) : Soms 3^ yoers 

back on s rtiny ria^' in fJovcmb'.ir, I lernombtir aeeiny □ gaudy cnlournd bird 
in nur backyard, f prsging an tha tj^ound . It wa^ dr.-ngc and blue in 
cdlour atlon- As I was nn* i/ery f STfiilinr Lvith hijcds in these days since 
1 had no binoculorB with ttie, the bird \-ic\5 left iinidrintif iod. But recently 
DTI 23-11-80 v\i<2n I was away ct Ved,-inthar.gnl, 1 woe told about a hixd 
answering to the description of the arangeheaded ground thxush seen in 
□ui bnckyard. I olsp saw this bird in the grounds of tho Thopsophical 
Society on l-l-ISfll, 1 noticed tha orange head and holly and the sl^ity 
blue buck and v/ings clearly > Comparing my previous sighting with this 
I believe that it vjas the arongeheaded ground thrush which was seen in 
our backyard on both the occasions, 

XThip tiird was perhape Zoothara citrina cyanotua whoSE 
i^ati'ge includes Madras, Editor') . _ . . 

( 5 ) Cpl la.rari Sand Ma r t i n ( ^ H i p s ri a r_ip_a r i a ) ^ ! On t1 th April, 19B0, we aaw 

a bird very similar to our common swallow (Hirundo rustics) but slightly 
smalleEj flying along with some swallows at Adyaj: estuary o^/er the riuer 
in the eUEning« It was brown eboue, white below, a brownish throat-band, 
white chin end throat, short and almost square-cut tail. The flight 
eppeored to be leas swift than that of tlie commcn swallow. I doubt if 
this could he any ether bird but the collared sand mortin whose distri- 
bution is given us Northern India. There are two races, ^according to the 
'Synopsis* the habitat of one {fl,r> diluta) being "near river and banks" 
and for the other (R.r. ijimaej it is "usually near cliffs or over bodies 
of water". Even loter en, during the last few months we have been seeing 
these martins ^ 1 or 2 at a time) qt the estuary > along with swellows- The 
dates of other sightings are: 1 2.1 D.RO, 19-10, BQ and lO-IZ.flO, Mr, Bill 
Harvey , who is quite knewlcdgeable-^an 'b±rriB~^ has also confirmed this 

JG) Thickbilled V^arbler f PhreomaticQln .ledon j : A single bird was ssen at 
the Th(?osophic3l Secioty near the caauarina grove, plong the Adyar river 
D[> a smell bush. The size wos bulbul minus , brown abovt, , white tinged 
Ltfith brown below. Legs were duaky , hill being flesh coloured. We also 
heard a subdued 'tschuck' which was neither loud nor shnrp like that of 
thcJ-blyth's reed warbler ( ftcrocephrlus dunetertimj. There was no super- 
cilium. The tsiiJ. was constantly flicking up and dowri* The f anthers on 
the hBEid was at times erected appearing liks a short crest. The bird 
allowed n close approach and was aeon fur e couple of minutes, 

f7) Short-tQcd Lark fCalandrella cinereal ': Dn 10,12.1379 at the open 
meadow at the Adyar estuary at about 4, DO p.m,, I had seen a group of 
14-1 5 rufous short-toed larks flying against a cloudy sky . Their un- 
dulating flight with ups and downs were; ucry graceful. Once en the ground, 
they tnorgod perfectly with their surroundings* The qpper parts were brown 
with a rufous tinge and the usual markings, a pale but prominent auper- 
ciliumT slight wingb^ra and huffish white underparts. On the aides of 
thr breast I hnlf hidden by the wings wps a black spot, I next aow them 
exactly on the same day in 1930. ahd at^'thc Same spot- There waic" about 
15-2Q birds and they always moved in a gr(?up flying in a close bunch when 
approeched. On 16,12-80 also I could see 3-4 birds. 

_E_6?__Blackcapoed Kingfisher,. iHsl[:v_Qri._p_il_gj7-baJ_ : A rocc;nt addition to my 
Madras bird He t is thi: bloc kc^gp pod kingfisher at the Thunaaphical Society 
along the Adyar river , V/£) hnva so far socn this attractive kingf ishci only 
PR two occesicns. The first Nnt; on 15-12-80 - the day befere th'a solar 
Gclipae* Thct morning \iae could catch some glimpecs of that bii^d which seemed 
wary and often fleu cwoy* It rcsembiijd the whitobcoosted but had a diiitirct 
black cap rand white collzir and rusty— tinged white undcrpaxts. Also the blue 
on the back appeared to be much brighter than that of the whitebreas tud, Tha 
next encounter was on 17th March, A single bicd wae a-B^n en. di eeccnct frond 
on thc-opcn gtound et Adyor estuary,. 


_L^_UittIc Green Heron (Blt tor ides strJD.tus.) ; There ii/ere one or two individuals 

o% this species at tha Thcosophical Sceiety during Januiiry to Morch ' B0« We 
had our fiist look at this species on 5,1,BD. Thure mere ot least Z'-^ birds 
flying about and settling an the trKes cloac to the Adyar river* They re^ 
aembled the pond heron but lacked the v;hite in the wings. Subsequent visits 
confirmed the species and we were fan:tunGtE in Seeing this crepuscular bird 
in broad doylight feedincf at the edge of the water or resting and sunning en 
the ialets in the river, ^ty last encounter the bird was on 21-3-flD, 
Perhaps thia bird is a local inigrant visiting us during the colder ii>Dnths-, ... 

f 1 Q) BoetedJ-lewk -Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus") : Pn many occasions T have soon 
this handsome eagle I'ast year et Guindy Deer Park [where it ^ippears to be a 

winter visitor) cither soaring in the air or at rest on treos. This yea^c 
on 12 th October 1 sew this bird nt the ftdyor estuary flying about in the 
company ef kites ever the Dj"en ground- It was kite-like and the size was aJiso 
_about that of a kite. But tho s.qucrE toil, the greyish markings on the hiings 
and upper .tail coverts (seen frcm obaue), the creamish crown and pale Under- 
parte and in overhead flight "reminiscent of dirty white hJeophron yulttire 
v*ith blackish band along trailing edges of v/ings" CD^* Solim AliJ giuoE -oway 
its identity in the fioid. Apart from this phase, there is a dark-phase 
which could be niet^akcn for an immature brchminy or paririh kiiiea , 5oma crows 
chased it and so it landed on the ground close to where I' was standing and 
as the morning light W'-}S good, I had g good look at it at very close -quarters 
□nd could notice the 'booted' , legs. The bird is said tu be mainly a winter 
visitor to India but it-was quite interesting to note in tho Handbook that 
this species may "nest sparingly and locally in peninsular India, doubtfully 
recorded as such in Salom in Madras State (ThecbaldJ and circumstantially 
in Gujarat (Splim Ali", 

M1) Br Dadbilled 5andpioor (LijnicDla__f_alcinellUE) ; Mr, Bill Harvey pointed 
eut a couple of these birds in the iiiarahy nrountls in the Adyar estuery on 
1?"10-SD, They were amongst other waders mostly stints and sandplavBXS* 
□ne of them was mere brownish, presuruably in summer plumage and the other 
in palar winter dress. They were slightly bigger th^n tho. little stint 
^nd.^ had darker upperparts (snipe-like markings], larger, slightly dowricurved 
beek, white belly, streaks on breast, white supercilium that forks out 
above the eye end short greyish legs, 'It could easily he confused with 
the little stint wjith which it is usually seen, yie ha^e been seeing these 
waders hero quite regularly afterwards and it appears that we heva been 
overlooking this species and passing it off as n stint. 

M >) n^.r-_a+j-hB-.-.^- Most of the flycatcheia in MadraG sesm to be winter 
i/is3.tors tills to ths paucity of s-ightlngs during other pEriods, We have ' 
BO fax recorded fiuc species - the brown (Mu^cicapa latirofi iris) , redbreasted 
(M, paxual, tickell's blue {M. tickelliaE)^ psixadise ( Terpsi^han e p sradisi ) 
and blacknaped flycatchers {Monarcha azurea). All thu five species could 

be ecEn at the Guindy Deer Park, The hcawn flycatcher is □ regular migrant 
and 5D aisci the. paradise flycatcher (in the eensc that they could be seen 
regularly during tha colder months). But the other three species have been 
seen irregularly and though they also could be regular migrants, we have no 
records tn pruue it. The xedbrGastcd and hlacknaped flycatchsrs have beeTi 
seen only twice so far both gt Guindy Park, The first sighting was on 1,11,79, 
Next I saw them on 1U1Z.QD and 12-12, SO respectively. The Tickell's had been 
SBsn an 3-4 Dccasions both at Gui-ndy as well as at the Thecsophical Society. 
This bird appears to be 'partial towards bamboos as I have always seen them an 
bamboo clumi^a* 

_(.1..3)'-Shrike (CorBcina .nQvechDllandiaa) s Although the blackheaded 

cuckoo-shrike Ec. tnelanopteraUs a fairly common bird arcund ^^Bdras (again 
mainly in winter), we had not observed the large cuckoo shrike earlier. On 
11,12,BD at Guindy we saw about 6-7 of these birds on the Eucalyptus trsea 
bordering the polo field perched on the higher branches. They i^ere ehqut the 
size of a Hyna and quite dumpy in appearance^ When one started flying to.: 
another tree, it was followed by another bird arid yet another in s "follow- 
the-leader'" fashion. The flight was undulating with- irregular flapping of 
wings, somewhat like that of g Hoopoe's, . 

The Bird Myster y of Lunalie,. f^izoram with comnentB on the bird □hcnomenQh 
_af Haflpnn by KR Rao "^ ""~ 

Whenever we speak of bird mysteries we are rEminded about the phenomenon in 
Haflong about which so much has been reported. However a similar phehoificnon 
occurs in Lunglie in Mizoram, The extraordinary case of birds getting killed 
by dashing themselves egainst the walls of a building in Lunglio waa brought 
to my attention when I visited the town in 197S during the course of a faunis*- 
tic survey of Mizeram. The building concerned belongs to Dr. Doliana a re- 
tired civil surgeon and 1 was informed that this building ia the target of 
"attack" by birds during the late monsoon months. 

The building stands majestically at a height of 121D :a amidst mountain ridges 
within the town. The building has three powerful electric bulbs fitted on 
the same plane- in front. These lights can bo seen from far away. The 
building snd the lights ore prominent land mtirks because it is situated at the 
highest altitude of the locality and there a£u no other houses within a dtafc«nce 

of a 1D0 f^Qt below- Eli. Dolinno b?s. s.E:en. birds rJashing themsclv/cs agoins-t 

the roof snd the wali^ nf .his builriing sci/cral years. ApparGrtXy certain 
iJcathGr conditions are ncccEs.-^ry fci this phenomenon to occuxi It h.-^ppcm in 
the latij nipneoon pcrind botwcen Si^p-tembcr cind Octnbor unci nrXy on" moijnlcsE 
nights- The sky should be uvercii.-it ^.ith mist ^ind fo^j occon^anie t: by fi slight 
drizzle. The wind direction is olsc impartGnt. Tho nu^b^r of bir.:^ vjhich 
get killert annu^illv vary froi^ 300 tn 500 and 6 to S apccica pf birds, arc 
iyiuulucd* I found on the inner sides of the walls of th^ building 
fcuthors Df do^ti birds viorc kept as wall ducor.-^tion^ , 1 CGllt;ctCLl thesa 
feathers for idtjntificatiqn and it sncn^to me that the birds involved in these 
accidents are: Indion Moarhon - _Ga_ll_inulF.. _c_hlB.rapuG indjea El.^th: Grey- 
fronted Green Pigeon - Tre^con aQiT^ncLJorfi : ^Indian Emcrnid Dove - Chclcophnps 
indico; Indian Threotocd Forest Kinqfi^her - Ccvx orithz^cua : Indian 
Ruddy Kingfishur - H eleven aorcnnnd.-i (Lathnni); Hocdcd Pitta - Pitta s^rdida 
o . ucullata Hartlaubj Drongu CucKog - Surniculus lupubris : Cuckoo - Cugulua 
canorus . ' ~" 

This [Ihenomenon is exactly ■S-itnirm: to tha bird mystery of Haflang which was 
first reported by S^lim Ali as early hs 1962 z^nd later studied by EP Gee 

xn XS6IX. In the eoao of Lunglie the bixdo apparently fly from west to aast 
whore as in Haflong the birds fly in from tho north. The iiiost striking 
xesEinblenco between the situatian in Hofleng and Lunglie is thet the birds 
ar.D all resident spepj^cs and green pigeons art the largest number of victims. 
Theodore Bhaskoran in his r^jport on Hafiong mcnticna the presence of Indian 
Water Hail^ and Lesser Whistling Teals but their numbers were insifnif icant, 

A suj^vey of literaturE shows that thare ure several records of such incidents 
from uarioua parts of the world, Drs . Rombinson 1 Chnscn (1927) observed 
nocturnal accidents of Indian Puddy Kingfisher at light houses and at " 
Irght strips of Mciacca in autumn. Dj:, Sslim Ali h.ia reported on the fre- 
quent casualties cf Indian Emerald Dcves and Green Pigeons in c-off ee plan- 
tations of Knrnetska and Kerala- The Indian Threctoe-] ForcsT; Kingfia-her" 
as knoiH^n to fly with gre^t force and da-Rege the gloss planes uf forest rest 
heusea. Lr, Elliot Mcclure (1974) in. his book an Migrotions and Eurvi^/ai 
of the Birds af ftsia mentions similar instances -occurring rrt Fresar Hilla 
in Holaysia and Daltons pass in Luzon (Philippines). AppercnUy the people 
of Northern Luzon set up artificial lights and rcfiectianc on foggy moon- 
less nights and cetch a large number of birds. Peter Jackson referring tn 
the Hcflang T-lystery absorbed that Hooded Pittgs ond Indian fieddy King- 
fishEre,a^a involved in the catches nt Fraser Hills ond .Dalton pass as wall 
as in Jetinga. The same situation holds good at Lunglie, 

Many theories have been offered to explain the peculiar" bchavioux of the 

nocturnal flights cf theso birds hut none appear to be^conyincing. 5ome 
Dt them such as change of Fiagnetic fields -cf the uhdurground water and 
changes in atmosphdric electricity cannot bo accepted as the birds of the 
plains do not seem to be affected by these questionable environmenial 
condrtions. Another suggestion made was that birds mistake the artificial 
lights for the light of the dawn- This theory is not convincing for aa 
Dr. 5aliiF, Ali had stetod "if the wind direction is not ■vxight-'-ntr-t)^ird^-:- 
Will came to the petromaxes, bonfires or flames". This suggests that 
artificiJi^l lights by themselves axe not enough to attract the birds. The 
^ind direction is. of crucial importance. 


X-n tcjCGS ting Behayl^u:^ cf Cagcri P::£ckcc!t by 5* . Sucler^hon Rao 

Work on the ecnlogy of the RoEoringod Parokoct is in progrusa i^t the ^ndhCa" 
Prndcah /^rfri cultural University since 'the bird is a dcEtroycr of cjrope in 

To conduct the cxpariment on its food htibits five femalo roseringed pijr-ikoetE 
were kept in ? cnge [size T,2ni X 3,3m X 3rn) and all wcro mcrkcd v;ith rings 
of cJiffi^rcnt colour. Behind the ccg*? thexe were two flama of the forest 
ta^Es. in the month of March 19BD these trees wore in full bleom and it 
was obeGrved thnt porokoets fed on the irfhltc fleshy port of the flower in- 
cluding the gynoeciujn of those trees disi^Eir-ding the coIguieO calyx ond 
petele. — . 

Dn Ist March 1990 a male xoscringed parakeet was Been approaching the Cfiga 
and then feeding one of the female parakeets inside the cage* Every day the 

bird come in the morning end in the evening. After feeding for soinotilne on 
the white fleshy portions of the flowers of Butea fircndosa trees the m.-ilo 
parakeet approached the cage and the fsTnale inside thti cage gave out its 
Ecreaching cells. The malE; sot on the outside of the cage and fed the 
f ETnalo by regurgitation- When other female parakeets tried to approach the 
male they woxe chased a',vay. Every day the male parakeet fed the same female 
only end wc have photographic evidence of this. If on any day tho mala 
parak"cct arrived late the femiile appeared to invite it by its calls. The 
process of fcEding lasted for neatly 2U daya end afterwards the mole was not 
Seen in the Vicinity* 

The feeding of p female by the' male by regurgitotion is a part of the 
coortship behaviour of the roseringed parakeet (LaTTiba^ ES.^ 1956, Nidi— 
fication of some commen Indian Birds), At the time of pfiir formation 
the female parakeet attracts her mate by vnrioLig means like its CEille, 
and by posturing with wings half spread and head moving in different 
directions* The response of the male is to rub his l*c ad on the head of 
the female, and elso feeding by regurgitation- Those ectivities heve 
been ncticcO in tho wild st^te. 

The incident of tho rosoringed parakeet fBeding a caged female is en 
intcEBEting phenomenon* It is possible that the male was trying to form 
a pair but could not da sa qs the female was inside the cage* 

Two additions to the bic.ds of Kerala by L rianaEsivavam ,ind P5 Sivaorasad 

As part of a pilot project of the Kerala Watural History Society wc were 
on the look out for toils in Malabar, On S--1 Z-SD wo camo across a jheel 
near Feroke about 15 km northeoBt of Calicut city on the borders of 
Calicut and Halappuram Districts, 

There were many cotton teals (Nettnpus coromandelianus) , Blugwihged 
Teals (Anas quorquedulo) ahd the majori"^ were Lesser Irihistling Tcfila 
(Denilxocygna javanicoj all of them c ona ti tu t in g a gathering of c aZOO 
teals • 


ThE second addition is the Hndsiaii (Phocnicurus ncfururos) ;, nv-,1. n,=^=+ + 
^u u l^BO. TbD bird allu„cd the iihsexvErs to aac it for an hput This 

T^iETs e 

ligrnting ^hitt stnxka ([:i 

^^^^ i^ti- t^?i= ?:r^ "- ^™--^-^^^^^ ^- 

On this acca^ion, 21 hir,l. ycrn scan, whan we approached -tte- birds an-the " ' 
..^t.s.^ to aL-isTa; th^^^ ti ^in^^dr:^ ^ht b^.r^a^-ihr . 

^s-ay froi. th,. body c-n the f irs t occ.^n nn 7 "^^ ^'''"^^ ^^^' 

ov^:,: the other birris ^^.T-^k ^^^^^^ ■'^'^^^^^"n. ^S^-^m m^^B a fo^ cixclns 
the n..'hy p.iic^?I;inr ''^: "°^,°?" ^ ^-ilinri. .f ehnt. ..r. fi... f.a. 

once t<.oI< flinht and hp /T ■ ^'^°''''' *°° '""''^ ^'^ thcbd^rda ,.hich at 

Tiignt and heodad again m h weGfward directicn. 


On the BEcQiid accasion, on D^cGinbea?' 2nd 90, sixtGen of theiu were spotted 
soaring over cGllcge hill by one cf us {John P Selvfin). They circled 
over the hill for about ID minutes Eind slotjly driftc-z: out of sight only 
to rcrippcsr after 20 minutes* Evidontly disturbed by the presence 
of the obscxvcr, thi^y fish off Bristinjotd. According to the Bcok of Indian 
Bitds U th EditiuTi by Er, Salim Ali, thcCG birds "ace xare south of 

Dcccolh", This raises the questiDP as to whether there is hctvj on estab- 
lished route through this siea -of south Indin? 

We would like to stress certain points which we thought are significant arid 
worthy of cunsideratian , Firstly why did the b'irds select a hill as a 
bedding-'^own placE7 Ts it bcccusc these liixqc londmiixkfi are cosily idE?nti- 
fiiible from the air, or have the bixds diBcouexcri by experience thot bills 
are safer because of being less inhabitod? Secondly, do these grnups 
always have a loaderTThe behaviour of one bird in the Wovemher flock cert^ainly 
suggest.-?d this. Thirdly, how much do they depend on the sun for piigrotion? 
It may be noted that on both eccasioiis, the birds wanted to settle dawn 
round nbout sunset and on the first ncr.asion disployed c marked reluctance 
to leoue before a clean sun in the sky, even though it k^os fairly lote in 
the morning. Fourthly, did tht deioyod monsoan hevo anything to do with 
the late arrivcl in 'flO, or is threo weeks ^n. acceptable deviation from the 

Hav we end with a ple.-5 tc all members to report sightings of these beauti- 
ful birds, so that their course "may be charted* If the editor so desires 
we would be willing to undertake this task since we haue de\/clopod e 
special interest in these intrepid vnyagers of the sky. 


Crows resent intrusicn by. others during^ _,n meal by GK Anjnthasubromaniam 

ft crow hates to share its meal with anothex but 1 have observed that it ia 
willing. to shi-re it with its partner, When'encther crew sneaks up" for a' 
bite the owner of the kill drives it away- When the mate comos Up for 

a bite it is welcomEri- It does happen sometimes howeuer that even the 
mate is not allpwod tc share in the kill unless ±t is veri^ peraiatcnt* 

Sometimes I. have noticed thnt i^en a pair of crows have killed a mouse they 

do not allow any others to come near it, Cnce 1 saw o poir eating the - ^ 
tastier parts of a mouse cind then fly .-iway. Another pair lurking in the 
background jumped on to the kill and atnrtcd to E^t the n^mains , But the 
former pair came back and the scavengers hod to leave tha scene. This 
indicates that when the original killers of the mouse hod flown away the 
Isft overs did not become public property, 

T have a small bowl of water kept outside on the roof of my hcuse for 
thirsty birds iind a pair of crows use it rEgularly, Quite often when they 
have something to eat they hold on to the morsel with their claws while . 
they drink, 1 once sew a morsel fall into the bowl and the crow could 
not retrieve it, it d±d not allow a flock of Blue Pock Pigeons to come 
near the bowl for 1 1/2 hours. 


_£xp.D£t of Buds ij^uurteev_. Hindustan Tiffica., Mgrch g. 19S1) 

India sbgifis tu be heading the duoinus list of uxpcrters of wild birds - 
birds which, aftGr a long nrduEil rE=sulting in thpuszinds af casualties, 
end up in the faahicnGbic drawing roania of the West at fanc;^ pricpa. Of 
the 7-5 miUion birds trapped eueri' yauT Indie^^i contritution ia ^.t 1,B 
mxllion. Thct anyway wsa the ai/Erase ever ii scugh ycnx period ending 197fi, 
figUTGB of which are available* 

Surely there ia big money, but nnt for the local trapper- A flingnecked 
Parakeet, which fetches the Indian trapper Rs.1/- is seld fox Rs.225 in 

The predominant -deatination of Indian birds, howavar, i^ Japan, About 40 
per cent go to Japan, Italy, France, Belgium, and the US followed Japan,' 

□f the 1,lfia epecics of birds India, ^B9 have been identified 
as Expexted since 19T0< Although the niqjc?rity of the Indian birds exported 

were widely distril^ated, such as the Ped Auadavat, Gome rare and even 
protscted species had .^Igo been inur^lued accoxdiny ta Tom Inskipp (under 
the auapiees of Washingtcna Animal Welf.-re Institute Tcni Inskipp has 
provided the account ^ Indian sconsxio). 

Inakipp has reported extensively on the trapping iFiothods involved. Pri^ 
maxily birds arc trapped in UP snd Sihax. 

Co xr E a D ond enc p 

Birdwg tchinn in the Punjab by D Kruoanidhi 

As a Member ef the Eerdcr Secuxity ForcQ I got the opportunity ta visit xemotf 
places end I always carry the book of Indian Birds by Salim with ms. 

On 27-12-00 I happened to visit tho Border area near the International 
Boundaxy in Punjab and 1 found an aren ef 1800 m by ZDO m covered with 
water weeds, Fxem u distance I could hoar the high pitched netas af the 
lapwing and ihe sound of the take off by a flock of cDimorants, 

That particular day waa foggy and thp visibility Was limited only tO f "io 

15 yards, Ths first group af birds that I sqw were a flock cf'Purple Moor- - 
hons (Porphyria poliocepbalus ) moving about awiftly with the charaeteriatic 
tlxckang of tails. The flock was not disturbed by my presence and continued 
to search busily, probably for insects in the weeds, 

A flock cf coats wore floating graeieusly on the water and thi'white patch 

□n the forehead was clearly seen against thoir black bodiaa. 

A flock of hlackwinged stilts had to tnske wgy suddenly for a formation cf 
cormorants which landed on tho water. Alongaide was a solitary grey 
heron With Its head tucked into its ahculders* A redwattled lapwing 
appeared calling loudly, 1 could also see a few Cotton Taals and a 


Paed Kingfisher, A little Iziter tht fog disappeared irnund 1D a,iii. and" " 
1 could SEE a fei.,' barheaded gcesfi, probably in transit to their friends 
on the bgnks of thE tivar Sutie.i near F&rozepur, Last year I had the 
goDd.fDituRE Df watching these Greylags froni a uantagE point nn the riuEX 

Raav Pas tors gt AhmEdabad by P5 Thakker 

J sai-j a flock Df Rosy Pastors foi- the fi±st time this scaaon on Ist Septem- 
ber at 6,10 a..;., fSunrisE 6,22 e,ii.. Sunset 5,56 p,n,-K Their roDsting place 
was Chi Vrdy-alaya and v^hcn they flcjw they gnvn the appearancE ef a swarm 

of locusts. Every rnorning ano could ecc theusEnds of birds between 6,15 and 
6.30 B.m, They lEft their rnasts on scVExal days at 6.27 a^ib, in two or 
thrcE lEigE flocks and rctu:cned between 6.15 ar^ 6,45 p.m. in flecks of 
varyj-ng sizES. '.. 

On the evening of 1 2th Septeifrber I attei^pted a rough count of these birds 
by classifying thei;. into large groups of i, 150 to 200, mediURi groups of 
35 to 5Q and small groups of 10 or less. The total nunibex of'flocks 1 
caunted «as a 170 large, four mediuiu, and 63 small flocks. Dn this basie I 
cpncluded that Uiere were :^a,000 birds in all. 

After Nove.nbsr the large flacks had vanished, but even iii January one could 
SEG borda ev^ry morning in v^rieus locsliticE, It is very interesting to 
see these birds even in urban envirbntnents. 


g__ChB5tn >ithcadGd Bee-eater by PT Thomas 


Lxke Professor Higgins I z^m a i-ian devoted to peace .-.nd a quiet life. There 
IS nothing I desire n»ore than a life frEE of strife i^nd-cbntcntion. jgavoj:- 
theless, and against ^ nz^tural inclination, I ^n. constrainEd to cros 
TMr V 1 "^ -^-taphonieaily, though) with Mr, R,P, Haran and others in the 
CMC, Vollorc, ^ho have said {WLBW, Jan. 1981) th,-^t the birde I sziw in the 
CMC cnnipus ware the Bluetailod Bec-eatcrs. end not the Chestnuthcad^d onea 
as I tnok .hem to be, I am afraid 1 cannpt accept this conclusion. I hav 
ohockEd and re^ehecked niy notes and n>E.n,ory, Th^ birds wert. indacd the 
ChEatnuthaaded Bee-eaters! 

sppn^th^'^r-^i"^*^^?:'''^ fl-e-eatcr, Mesare Hsran, Karat and Selvan may have 

T H ^^ .. 1 r' ''""^'"■" ^ '^ ^' ■'^ P°^^*i°" -t° disputb it although 

1 sh^ll H H .^"^ °"'' '^"''''^ r.^-olf, either in the winter or in the eumn-er, 

1 shall indeed look out for the bird on ^ no^t visit tn V^llore, And «hen 

the occasion comes, I shell hope to be able, to do sonie birding with the 

For'olltrH°^ '^^ 'Bluetailcd^ theory and shew them ^bera they ^ont v^rong, 

tor all ^ disagreen>ent with my friends^ conclusion about the identity 

of the bird, I want to thank thum for taking tho trouble to comment on my 

ll+lt* ^""^ ^* ^^^^"^ ""^^ ^"""^ ^^^"^^^ ^^^^^1^ ^^ that 1 (<no^ now 

that there are snme persons in the UAC who are interested in bird-wotching. 


Pur Caniributprs 

Mr. KR Roo, ZoologicQl Survey of India, lOD Santhomc High Rocid, '■ -' - 

MadxLis 600 DZB. ". 

Mr, G, Sudnr^ihcn Rao, Senior ResEarch' FgIIdw, Office af the QxnitholijgiBt, 
Andhra PtDdcJih Agricultural Uniucrsity, Rcjcndrcn.",gar , HydL.r^b.ic: 5D0 D3D, 
Mr, L, PJaJiiagsiUayam, 13/111, Kattukandi Paianiba, Kamnjath Lona, Kazhikodo, 
fi73 DD2- 

Mr. PS Siuaprnand, 15/359, G,H, School fioad, Chalapuiam, Kozhikado 673 002. 
Mr- AC Karat, CMC, Vcllarc. 
Hr-.R>P, Hcir^n, CMC, Vi^llorc. 
Mr, John P Seluan, C^^[:, VcfllDrc, 

Mr, CK fmanthaEuhrajnaniam, 2, Chinnappa founder Street, Coimbcitare, 

Mr, D Krtipanidhi, Dy . Commandan-f; , 43 Bn B5F, Fazilka, Pin 1521 23,P^njab, 
He, PS Thakkor, 17, Swaraj Mngar^ ^nibawadi, Elliabridgu, Ahmcdab.-id 300 015, 
Mr, PT ThpTiiiiSi Ornitholagic^l Society uf Central India, 14, Old Sehore Road, 

LndQEe 452001 ,Modhya PradGsh- '"""" " ' - ■ 

Wr> T. S,-n1iTiatam» "iz-A, Lexth Cristlii Snirth 5traa-t, Madras EDD 029, 

5ubscrio-tiDn_ for the .vuaE_19ai. havii. .bcijn received fjopi i 

Mgharas htrpi Shri. DB'Pawar, Sr, RuEuarch Assist:int, DepartmGnt of Entainology, 
Mahatma PHuIl Kxishi UidyfjpGpth, Rahuri 413723, Ahntodnag^z ,Rs ,1 5/-j Mr. PA 
Wnriel^j^la, Bxcach Ci^ndy Gerdcns, BKtilsbhni Des.-ii Hoad, Bombpy 2fi,na-15/'-j 
Mr, RC Dalai, ShaliTnc:r Hxpurtors, ^Shalim.-.r Houee*, 2flth Road, Sandra, 
Bombay 4D, Rs.15/-j Mr. VR Krishn.iti, c/d- Cy^-innmid Indip Limitt'd, PtJ Box 
5109, Bon.b,Ty 25, Rs ,1 0/-;Mr , Asad Akht-ax, A1/151, Sindbi Society, Chemhur, 
Bombay 71,R5,15/-; 

jicralii! f^r, Giriah ftnanth, 36, Znological Sury^y of Indici, SC?, Karakka- 

liiuri Cross Raaci, CochinjHs.l 5/-? 

Ja.niil Ngdjjf Mi, K WirmslaUBl, 224, West Ercist Cntton Road, Tuticarin, 
RS-15/-J Mrs, Barbara SrEanivoson, "Kaipaaa'^T 4, V, Paloniswamy Naidu 
Street^ Av£in.-?5hi Rood, Coimb.-itcra iB^Rs.ll/-* Dr, and Mrs, FritachjSLRTC - 
Karigiri, Via Kntpadi, Nnrth Arcot District, Rs,1 5/-; Mr, KJ Sckar, No, 7, 
7th Street, N.-indanram C^tonsion, Madras 35,Rb,15/--; Mr, HSH Hussainy, 
Biolcgiat, Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalekad, Tirunalvcli Bis txict ,l3s.1 5/-S 
Mr. 5 Balanathan, .Asa-t-, Conservator of ForestE, PJilgiri South Division, 
DQt,icanund,HE,15/-; Mr, B Wnx^y.-n Deb, The Blue Mts. School, Dotacamund, 
Nilgiris 643001, Re, 15/-; Mr. V Sundar Rojan, Wildlife R=ingc Officer, 
KslakGd,Rs,15/-; Mr, VJ Rojan, Honornry Stcrotary, Had^.^s PJaturaliata 
5ooxE=ty, 13, Ayalur Muthia Mu, ali Stxast, Kendithopc,Madxa9 1,R5.15/^| 
Mr, Konari Rao, 1d, Thandavaray an Murtali Stxeet, Triplieanc, Madras 5, 

.Hoi-j Salhi! J.-.kDh Vindiwg Madsen, Roynl Danish Efifbassy, 2, Golf Links Areap 
11D 003,R5,15/-; Mr. E. Sridhar.-^n, D-1/155 Satyn Marg, Chenr.kyapuri, 
no D21,Rs.23/"T Mrs. Vsronics Does, 3D, Vasant Herg, Vaeant Uihar, 
Re. 25/-; 

J^a,^ as thp_ni The: Supt., Indian Council af /^g^icultu^al ReBCr-irch, Control 
Arid Zone Research Institute, jDdhpur,Rs,l5/-j 

K^rnatukq; Dr. Joseph George, 1B9, Firsi; Cross RuBd, Mnhr^lcikshmi Leiydut, 
Bongalora 1D,Rs,15/-; Mr, S SubrnmBnya, No. 593, Upstoirs, IDth ^C^ Cross- 
II Stage, West of Chord Ha^.d, Raj njinag ai, BzingclorE ]U,RsAS/-; Mr,K. 
Ullas Kzsrnnth, 26B, Ifi Hein, Saraswathipuram, Mysprc 57Q a05|Rs-1T/"j 
^liiolati J^r. KP J,idav, D-lSl Govt, l^j^t^j Junction Plat, Rajkc^t,Fis .15/-j 
Mr, PS Thakker, 17, Swomj Nagar, Arnbgwsdi, Elliabrictgt, Ahcnadohad 380 QIS 

JJ_ttar PradLshg Dr.HM Misra, Wil-^lifn PiesGrvatinti Sacioty of India, T, 

Astlfjy H.nll, Dchrn Dun,ns.l5/-j Mr, Prad-jcp KuEtic.r Burma, DfiG/l, Jadhpur 
CiJlony, Banaras Hindu Univcxsxty. Var^-^ncisi 221 OO^^Rs ,1 0/-; Mr, sr Haquo, 
Mancignr, UP Warnhnusing Curporotiont PD G.idarpur, District Naini T.-l 
2631G2,Ra,15/-j ' ' 

ikryanai Mr, Suxosh t: Sh.irm.-:, c/o, Mr. Khepi C Paliwal, Eakal Wagar, . 
Robtak Road, Soncpat 1 31DQ1 ,ns .1 5/-- 

Mad^LV^ Prjdnsh! Br. Biiip Ktitn^x Katiyar. Dp p , Simplex Gd., Madan Mahal, " 
J^bnlpur,^B2001,Ra,15/-; Mr. Singh, 3/1, Old Pola^ia, -Indcra, 
P6.15/-.S Mr. AK Hitra, Qr. f^Q.B/13, PO Bixla Vikash, S.-tna 465005 
_Jih^£= 2r".Ji!S__4l^"t_'^^i ^'1* Wew Baradw.ici, JamshE?dpur B31 001 ,Rs.25/-; 
Assaml Me. Mosaddique Uirrer, Enuhcti High Cnurt, Gauhati 7B1 001 ,R& .1 5/-; 
Abroad: Mr. DP WijcsinghE, 1, Charlnttc Hoad, Wallington, Surrey, 
SMfi yAX, UK, 5 pounda; Mrs, Inga Willis, Hiilvi^w, Millstxuam, Warthen. 
Shropshire, UK, R5.45/-. „ ' 


Piakash Gole 
Ponna 411 OUJ. 

March 16, 19Qt 

The Editor, 

PJewsletter far BitdwatcherS , 

Bangalore 56 21 34. 

1 am cqllBc-tmg infoxmation an the ^int^ring B^jrheaded Gte^s 
lAnser xhdicus) z^n India- I shall he moat grateful if I cdLild 
rEqiisst thB contributQvs/subscribairs af the NewslEtter to 
pleaSE send me information nn the following paints; 

1, ThE estimated nunihPr of vfintexing A- indicus in their 
respective areas and theii dates of arrival and 

2, Whether their nufiibei has remained steady or increased 
or decreased ip recent yaarB-and possible reaanns for 
thia changa, 

3- Whether any persecution hunting/poaching takes 

place and estimated quantum pf auch kills, 

4, Any other relevant information. 

I ehsll be uery giateful if this appeal i^ published in the 

Yours sincerEly, 
(Prakash Sole) 



\ '■ 


Editor: Zafar Futehally 

Dodda Gubbi Post, Via Vidyanagar, Bangalore - 562134 

Annual Subscription Rb. 15/- 

CD\/er Piclurer Biacklsiled Godwil (Limosa iimosa) 

Piwio by: E. Hanumanfha Rao \ 


Newsletter for 

VOL. XXI NO. 5 MAY, 1981 


f ... 


Tol,IXE:,:^Ho.5 May 1981 


Contents ^ 

Editorials - 

dfcservatidhs on Pair Foiroation by A.Havarro j3,J. 

Birds of Sariska Ti^er Keser'/e by Ur.Ashok Kimiar Sharma, 

Bird watching'in Mehsaiia Dist. by P,S, Thaicker, 

Status of the Blacloiaped Monarch riytuatcher in 

Sauraehtra by Dr:-B,M.Parasliarya, , 

, Effects of Urbanisation on the Bird Fauna of 
^'''■' Bangalore 'by A-K- Chakravarthy. " , 

G TOW- pheasant killing a Hare by Dr^Fred Simmonds, 

Adyar Estuary in Danger by V, Santharam, 


News frofli Gopeshi^ar by Dr,(Hisa )Asha Chandole. 

, r' 

Behaviour of a rock pigeon by Aashaesh Pittie* 

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater in Hazarlba^h by AJana- 

Brabminy ducks (Tadoma ferruginea) in large Aiimbers 
by Dr,R,S,Bidwe, 

Birds killed at lights - a mystery by lav Kumar Khacher. 
Wiite storks in VeLlore by S.Theodore ^askaran.. 

Book Review by Mrs,Laeeq Futhelly, i 

A request t o contributors ! Quite often, letters/articles 
come in i^ich a^e ao oareXessiy ■v/ii.tten that it takes 
ifiany mirmt es/liours to sort tiHirm-out and prepare tltem 
for publislmi^- \Jhen long lists of "birds are sent tliey 
should "be grouped ui:ider tlie r'olevari.t families unless 
there is a good reason for net doin-s so. This little 
effort is educative for the -wiater and the reader and the 
list "becomes more relevant iia the oniithological sense. 
When referring to oirds it is pointless (on most occasions 
to say that 'I sa-wbulbuls, swifts, Swallows etc^ .. Which 
species of hulhul? Hand ^jritten notes may made 
as legible as possible- Kany scrawls, I am surs, contain 
interesting facts, but unravelling their meaning is not 
easy, and may lead to the printing of etatanents not 
intended by the writer- 

^jcdg."_and__a -erotjlano accident s: The Bombay tTatural History 
Society is to be compleraented on ma>-ing reasonable head- 
way in its difficult project on ^ j-n .^^ Sl^T 3fly . of 
Bird Ha sards at. In d ian AerQdTQJSgs ^ . This is being imder- 
taJten for the Ministry of Defence wio are obviously more 
than x.'illing to finance this investigation, as accidents 
are likely to escalate mth increasing number of aircraft 
unless precautionary measures are take^, 'The lAP had a 
total of 197 bird "strikes during the five year period 

from 1975 to 1979 I^ civil aviation there were 15S 

bird strikes during the one year period from 1st January 
to December 1979. The cost of damage a^nounts to more than 
"5 crores rupees annually' , The BfJHS intend to do the 
following: i 

Collect bird strike data together with ranneuts of 
birds for identification of the species involved; intensive 
observation of the aerodrome area covering a radius of 
25 km to collfjct data on bird movements; altering the 
grass cover on airfields to -check vSiethe3> habitat mani- 
pulation can ■:>e a deterreatj expe rim siting with repelling 
devices; a status survey of vultures in the Indian 3ub- 
Gontinent to find out how far local populations travel 
in search of food and for, breeding, ;^urp)oses. 


3 : 

gs wslet -ber Pi nanc .^g : Postages, printing charges for the 
■■cover and cyclostyling charges are all keeping pace vn-th 
inflation- Today there is Fs,16C0/-* in the Newsletter 
account T but this cannot see us through the next eight 
months, Mr, Theodore Baskaran of the postal service has 
kindly offered to assist with postal concessions - an. 
attempt which the Editor gave up long ago o-vdng to the 
inaliility to circuunvent bureaucratic fences. May Baskaran^e 
initiative succeed., Ii*..-any of our readers can help with ^ 
advertiseoients that -poiiLd'be very welcome. 

Q bgervations on ^alr Fop ng^tidii 'i jy A-Kavarro , S,J , 

Some hirds pair for life, -while others only for a 

single annual hreedirig season. Nevertheless, some pairs 
laa'f be successful ^rith more than one brood within the 
same lireGding season., ' - 

On May 10, X96'3 , v^lst returning from my ohaerva-tions 
along the Bulbun Lake (Ehandala) beside the lohavla drink- 
■Ing water reservoir in the fields down below, I heard the 
noise of a large gathering of birds, as if they were engaged 
in a conversation. Certainly there vere no songs as such- 
Once 1 reached the fields, after a 5"niinute i-^alk I did 
notice a larg-e field totally covered mth birds, like 
sparroi-;G in appearance, but through my binoculars I discove- 
red that this large gathering of birds was of the Malabar 
Crested Larka o 

I foiTnd it difficult to evaluate the total number 
assanbled ^^.thin the field area at that time. There must 
have been aroULid six to seven hundred Malabar Crested Larks 
or may be ev^ more. The ^v^ole asse^ibly was in constant 
motion as if they were participating in a non-stop dialogue. 
Mevertheless, now and then, a kind of musical note caiae 
floating out, I visited the field for seven days in succ- 
ession and I noticed that each successive day there were 
fewer birds, until on the eighth day I found the field 
totally en-ipty. After that I noticed the appeaiance of the 
Malabar Crested Larks at their usual nesting grounds, 

The pairiJig or selection of the partner is usually 

done by the male. The danoe, the iDC^tig, the ,off erin^, and 
the singuig is done by the male to seduce or chaira the 
female. The ornithologist has studied and classified the 



"bird songs and tes imde^rstood the motlv&tian of these 
songs aiid lias ^iven names.-.adapted to the meaning of those 
songs. Sj-nce their songs are Gonnected viith their hreeding 
activities, there is a song called the advertising song, 
though it may have a double mearLing, that is, attra-otifig 
or repelling* 'In the seooiid inst^jice, the songs may change 
in volume, in pi^tch and in speed, 

Weaver'Eird ! The wesiver "birds, on ' "the other hand, adopt a 
totally different procedure vjith regard to the pairing or 
selection of their partners. It is the female here that 
selects her mate, ' This is how it is conducted^ 

At the time of the breeding season, there is a total 
segregation of the seses. Once the veaver males have 
selected the "tree (\'here they will establish their colony, 
from that time onwards the males start building their nests 
The presence of any female at this time -will £Xot be tolei^ 
ated, as at once the males will haras? her out of the 
GClony under construction. 

After 'the'weBving of their nests-is aoGomplished, a 
massive group of females invades the colony, e5::a::Lining the 
inner and outer parts of the nests, making their choice 
trom among the different nests, The male builder of the 
nest selected by the female becomes her partner* 

■The question of the choice becomes a paradox. Since 
the female is not able to weave, the male is totally respon- 
sible for the weaving of the nest and its maintenance 
during the process oi^ incubation and rearing of the young 

weavers . 

M ^sbaj ,l!/ _J?h rtjBh ; The ^auna of Ehandala changes sal 
the year round but the Malabar l"/hietling Thrush is one of 
the common birds of the region* 

Some birds stay longer thSn others? some stay for a 

short time; others are passers-^by, in transit; but the 
Malabar Vfliistling Thrush belongs to the group known as 
'pennanent resident^. By nature it is shy and cautious. 

Throughout the year the Malabar ^n^istling Thrush is 
confin_ed to the forest showing a preference for evergreen 
forests, its abundant shade and moisture combined with 
streams and rivulets, Sarely will it be seen perching on 
trees, most of the time it tdll be on the ground, hopping 
and flying from boulder to boulder along the gurgling 
streams and rushing torrents. 

It is only during "the- monsooii, -frflien they leave the 
forest, that some oome up to Khandala village in search of 
closed villas and "bungalows whei-o they may settle in gardens 
or along verandahs. If not disturbed, they -will even ■build 
their nests under the roofs of these buildings or on windo-w- 
aills. Otheiswill fly alo-ng the cliffs, gorges and mountain 
aideS' looking for oavos and -waterfalls, They can build 
their nests In there and safely rear their chicks. From 
expefieuGe I can say that behind any -^vaterfall there is 
al-ways a whistliag thrush nesting* 

Though it seans that some Whistling Thrushes have a 
special liking for tunnels along the railvjay traci: as their 
breeding resort, soi^e nests can. be seen at the enti-ance of 
a tunaaL -while others will he located rather deep inside 

The way the ^3ala'bar Whistling Thrush ssleots its partner 
looks more like a game of hide-and seek. Once I was bird-" 
-watching on Duke's ITose ra-vine ■v^en I heard, a noisy group 
of r-Ialabar Vfnistling Thrushes, about 8 to 10 of them, the 
males choosing the finales. At a great speed they iflew to 
a large tree. For a few seconds there was silence, but all 
at once the chasing operation i-ras. resumed. Since I had a 
tape recorder with me I recorded.- the sounds, as the males 
were chasing the fanales* They */ere uttering sharp notes 
that form part of their usual whistling songs- At the same 
time the fsQales -vFsre uttering a series of shrieks, when 
suddenly they all flew to another tree, a hundred yards 
a-way. The same procedure -was repeated once more. After 
that the whole group flew down the ravine and I lost track 
of them. 

A few days later on June J, 1972, I resumed my bird^ 

watching mth the express purpose of solving that t^ich 
pusEled me during my previous observations. The two main 
components of the male chasing the female are:" action 'and 
song,' Oh this subject some ornithologists are-of the 
opinion that ^the -advertising songs or calls tend to attract 
the females, .^' ^alao possibly the songs have some effect 
of impressing the males^ dominatlcsn of the females^- 

Si§;^bi£d: The Blackbirds arrive at EhandaLa about the 
middle of April and depart at the beginning of August- 
Their arrival and departure are adjusted to the mcnaocn 

On arrival the KLackbirds will be seen in forests, 
gardens and open country in large numbers. Soon after 

their aWivai' tS^y-will >ie seen moving in small groups 
aearching for fz^'its and "berries. As it is ■ t}ie end. of 
the dry a eason -'*lieS e are nQ:ti- aXvjays -easy to obtain. 

For some txQie the email groups ^^11 keep together, 
but later on 'the^niales will reveal their identity^by their 
Short calls repeated constantly on the move- I will 
classify these'calls as advertieing calls. Some omitho- 
logista are of the opinion that auditory recognition 
cues are more affective than visual ones, Oihe importsnce 
of the call in recognition hardly needs to be stressed. 

A- short tiJQ© later the pairs are formed. The groups 
disintegrate and from no-w onwards each pair will find its 
way into the forest and select the Spot where it \all 
build a nest. 

The main factors which lead the blackbird to select 
ihandala for its breeding aotivities are; the. heavy rain- 
fall which goes up to 156 inches or even more in some 
years, and the heavy, foggy skies of Khandala which persist 
throughout the monsocns. 

"At this 'time the vegetation is lush, EarthwonoSj 
snails and other insects are found in large quantities- 
a?hiB is the light food for their little chicks and their 
parents, -as this is the season when they change their.; 
diet from fruits and berries -bo. earthwoims., .erxaila ^d 

At the beginning of their breeding season, the males 
sing a vaiiety of loud, rich Emd melodious songs, at times 
even mimicking the songs of other birds, perching high up 
on the tallest trees. The best songs are sung early 
morning and late evening, although they can be heard at 
any time of^the day. I^lany bird lovers and ornithologists 
consider the Blackbird to-be the best songster among the 
Indian Thrushes- 

"■■ ■" O^he Blackbirds vJill often be seen on the ground. If 
disturbed they \all fly up onto the trees. The Blackbirds 
and the l-rtiistlitig Thrushes are the commonest birds in 
Khandala region during the monsoon. 

By the tim.e of their departure they have become shy 
and cautious. They stop singing and gradually take off 
and their absence appears m"yst eii^ous . 3y the middle of 
September ncr -blackbird ia seen in Khandala region. 


In the ffionth of October, duj:lrLg an hoards trek throij^h 
a footpath alon^ the forest I counted, over 30 Blackbird 
nests- For about 20 years I have been going up to Khandala 
during the monsooiis vith th.e purpose of observing the 
colour patterns of the young Blackbirds, Only on a few 
occasions I have seen them In suoh pluinage. A pale slaty 
colour mth a very slight olive tinge, no black cap and 
whitish dots nore prominent on neck, chest and abdomsi- 

Bir ds of Saris ka T iggr Reserve by. Dr^ Ashok jCumar Sh srsaa : 

Sariska Tiger Reserve lies at the eastern end of the 

Aravalli bAlls. It has beautiful tropical dry deciduous 
and tropical thorn forests, dominated by Dhoc f Anoggj^ssji ^ 
p ^duj^ a } ; Salar { gp s w ,^ lia g^s rr^t,^ ) ; Tendu ( DlcSTivro s JKhalr 
{4pg. cia gate chui and 3er ( ^igyph us ma,u a) trees. 

To. compile a checklist of birds of this area, 1 
visited this place several times since 1978 in almost all 
seasons, but the final list ijhich is presented here should 
not be taken as complete, and probably many more species 
^ri-11 be added to this as our experience of the "area increa- 
ses. The Status of many birds is doubtful, as -these t^ander 
a lot- Among these are Indian pitta, Paradise flycatcher, 
G-olden oriole. Large cormorant, 31ack breasted quail, 
Alpine swift, ^^hitebrowed bulbul, TicJtaLl's blue flycatcher. 
Birds which visit the area only during summer and the 
rainy s-eason are Blue cheeked bee-eater, Bluetailed bee- 
eater and Pied crested cuckoo-- Some are apparently 
passage migrants and these include Rosy pastors BXi.d Common 
rosefinch. In all 200 specie^ have been iden'tified* 

This ar'ea is rich in birds because it provides many 
types of habitats. "Por tjater birds there is Ruparcel 
river, a pond near KankT'^ari and many ^,'ater holes in the ' 
forest. Painted spurfota and Indian pitta skulk in the ■ 
■ forest alcrtg the streams in the valleys; and in the same 
forest Bon&Lli^s bawk eagle slta on a large tree. Brown 
fish owls sit near a forest vater hole, and in the scrub 
lands Doves, Partridges ,■ ^ndgrouse, Nightjars, Bee- 
eaters, slirikes. Babblers, Varblsrs, j3ulbuls, Minivets, 
flycatchers, Robins, Ohats - are numerous. M^-nas, Grcvjs, 
Sparrows and Pariah Kites live near if^any villages in the 
■■forest. The stony ground around Tal Uriksha is fit 
-"--"■habitat for buntings, thrushes, and chats. The agricultural 
fields near villages provide homes for Manias, V^aaver birds, 
Sparrows, "ifnite eyes, Einches and Saras cranes. 


The lUstorical Z^a>riJci43,id fort ■■f?|ere Dara SMkoh, 
elder brotlier oi Bnperor 'Aurangaeb is aald to have teeri 
imprisoned, sta^ids on a low hill in 'the loiddle of the 
forest, Por i-jatchlng Mrda of prey/ Vultures, Swifts, 
Martins aM St/allovja one is reoohimended to Glimb."to ^ke 
top o£ this fort, - ■"" " 

Siliserh lajce aJid many .oth-fer I'^kes lie Outside the 
sanctuary and are favQuiate i;jiritering grounds for many 
■water birds and here I "have seen most of the waiter birds 
noticed in ti^e adjacent Delhi area- ---- 


gKeAtU lst s 
^a mil? 


'Phala,cr o cora cidae ; 




Falcon! da ei 

Plural Cidae; 
'■ ■ Gruidae; 

. dvo-Gharadriidae 

I SeGijjrrvirostridae 

Little &rebe . ■ ■ - - 

large Cormorant; rhdian Sh^g; 

mttle- Cormora:it- 

G-J7ey Heron; Pu^i-ple Heron; Pond Heron; 

Cattle Egret J Large Egret; Median ^ret; 

Little Egret; iJieht Eeronj Little Bittern 

^aoitenectLrea st'^rk; Blach; Stork; 

Blacknecked stork, 


Black^^nged Kite; Crested honey Bussard; 
"Pariah Kite; Shikra; Sparrow Hawk; 

Longle^ged BuEsard; Vhite-eye Bctssard; 

Bonelli^s hai-rk- Eagle; Ta-i-jny i^agle; . 

Steppe Eagle; G-reator Spotted' Eagle; 

Black Vulture; Griffon Vulture; 

Longbilled Vulture; Wbitebacked Tulture; 

Vmite Scavenger-- V'_LLture; Pale Harrier; 

Short-toed Eagle; Crested Serpent i^gle, ' 

Lsgger Palcon; Peregrine Falcon; 

Redheaded Merlin; Kestrel- 
Painted Spurfowl; Black Partridge; 

Grey Partridge; Common Quail; Rain Quail; 

Jungle Bush Quail; Peafovi. 

Common "Bustard-Quail < 

Sarus Gi^ane. 

Bro^'Hi Crake; I'/hitebreasted Waterhen; 
"Indian Moorhen, 

Redtjattled' Lap>dng^ ; Yellow- wattled 

Lapvdng ; Blacktaiied Godwi.t.; Common 

Redshank; Green'shank; Green Sandpiper; 

Wood Sandpiper^ Common Sandpiper* 

Blackwlnged, Stilt- . , 

' Burhinldae; 




Coluiatiidae I 

^Cuculidae: ' 




: Ooracirda;^! 
Upupidae;'"" """^ 


Alaudidae: ' '■ 

■ Hiruadinidaei., 






GaiQpephagidae ; 


- Pycnonotidae: 

Stone Gurlew- 
Indian Courser. 
Sxver Tern, 

Indian Goramon Bandgrouae; Painted 


Green Pigeon; Blue Rock Pigeon; 
■■ HuzfouG Turtle Dove; Iting Dove; Red Turtle 

I^ove; Spotted Jjovej Little Brown J}ove. 
. Ale:Kandrine Parakeet; Roseringed Paral^eet 

■ Bloasomheaded Py^rakeet- 

Pied Crested. CuGkoof Common Hawk-Ouckoo; 

KoeljSirkeer Cuckoo; OrOfl-Pheasant< 
..Collared Scope Owl; Indian Great Eomed 

■ Oiiaj DuBky Homed OwL: Brom Pish O^s 

Spotted Oiiet, ' 

Tndisji Jun^e Kigiitjar; Coimnon Indian 


-Alpine Svdft;. House Swift; Palzo Swift 
■Lesser Pied Kingfisher; Common KiZLgfisher 

Whitebreasted Kingfisher. 

Bluecheeked Bee-eater; Bluetailed Eea- 

oater; Green- Bee-eater.- 
. Indian,^itollear, 
"""■■Hoopoe, '■ '^ ,-.:■ . . 

■ Caiamcn- Grey Hornbiii, 
-"CiUnsonbreasted -Barbet. . 
;Wryneck; Goldenbacked Wood^^Oker; 

Malaratta Woodpecker; Pygmy Wocdpecker. 

Indian Pitta. 

Eed: -fenged Bush Laik; Ashycro^jned Finch- 
larkj' Short-toed lark; Crested latck ; 
:E^stera Skiylark. 

Plain Sand Martin; Dusky Crag ^rtin: 
Copunon Swairow; Cliff Swallow: Striated 

Oj^ey Shri-ke; Baybacked Shrike, Rufous- 
backed Shrike; Brown Shrike. 
Golden Oriole- 
Black Drango; Whitebellied Drongo, 
BraMiny Myna; Rosy Paster; Starling; 
Pied kyna; Common Myna; Bank Myna. 
Tree Pie; House Orowj Jungle Crow. 
Oomiaon Vood Shrike; Large Cuokoo Shrlkre; 
Small Mlnivet 
Common lora 

Redwhiskered Bulbul; Vmiteoheeked Bulbul; 
Redvented Bulbul; tmite browed Bulbul* 

— ^-=:.':,_l 



Muacicapitiaef , 




. -^r -. 

-. |i 

- ■■- 

K - 


.. PrirLgillidae: 

Xelloweyed Babbler; ComiQon Babbler; 
Large i^rey Babbler";^ Jjngle Babbler; 
aedbreasted.'flyGatch'eT; l^ickell^s Blue 
Flycatolieri C-reylieaded FlyGatcher; 

'vniitabroved FeJitail Plycatclier; Paradise 
riycatclierj Streaked Jsntail Varoleri 
5'raiiiain = s Wren ^/faiibler; Ri^fousfron-ted 
Wren mrblerj Iridian Wren Warblerj Ashy 
Wrsi Warbler; Tailor Bird; Blyth^s Reed 
'Warbler; Booted Varblerj Orphean Warbler; 
Lesser VJhitGthroat; Ghiff.Chati. Yellow 
bronzed leaf Wartler; . Greenish Willow 
Warbler; Blue throat; Hagpie Robini 
Black Redstart; Brovni P-Ock Chat; 
Collared Bueh Chat; Fi'ed Bush Chat; 
laabelline \^eatear; K^ed Wheatear; 

"Indian Robin; Blae, Rock thrush; Black 
throated Thrush.' 
(Jrey 0}j^t< 

, Ghestnutbellied Kuthatch , ^. . , 

"Tree Pipit; India- Pipit; Browi Rook Pipn-li; 

' Yellow -Wagtail; YelELoijheaded Wagtail; 
Gj?fiy Wagtail; t/hite' Wagtail; Large pxed' 


"'Ihickbilled Plowerpecker. ■ 

Purple Sunbird. 

Vmite eye- ;.- ■ " ^ , ^ 

Rouse Sparrow; Spanish Sparrow; Yellow 
throated Sparrow; Bayaj Plackthroated 
Weav^r.Bird; Streaked Weaver Birdj 
■.Red- Wunia; VJtiitethrpat^ Kunia j 'ilhXte 

- 'b.acked raunla- 

, Common Rosetinch- 

■ Biackhead^ed Bon ting ; Redheaded Bunting; 
. .Whitecapped Bunting; Crested Bunting. 


■ 'h'E^^' 

.■ . L 

f - 

i - 

I vieited Jakh^ village on 7th November 1980. It 
is a small village in Sam Taluka of Mehsana district. 
The population of the '"Tillage is very small sinoe it has 
hardly 60 to 70 houses. 

There is a tszik in this village to provide drinking ^ 
water. The river Bsnas flows very near to the village, ^^ 
a"distanoe of only one kilometer. The tank ie surrounded 
"bv ProBopis .julif lora vdiioh is locally known as 'Gando 
BorilTT The are is thJ^ckly woodod bythia species. There 


were few ether tre^.of neem and piloo on t]ie tank bund, 
^e talk ^ ^^yan tree ^ere sLtuated near to 

. I visited the tajxk at 10,00 a.m., 1,00 p.m. ^d 

^-1^ p.m, on the aame days'i.e, 7th Kovanber 1980- 'l^hera 

were many birds in addition to tiie common birds lilts 
sparrows, crow, peacock^' doves and vultiires, [The bii^ds 
which I sav included; 

.Chai^adriidae:. .-■ Fs^tall Snipe; Redwattled iap^rf^ng; 

_ Stint spoGies. 

EecurviroPtridae: Slackviinged Stilt. 

Motacillidae:. . &fey'^gtail; Pied WagtallJ Wiite 

/■ ^^agtai-l; Blue-headed Yellow ¥astail; 

m>_ , . - . Black-headed Yellow Wagtail, 

Threskiomithidae;.v Spoonbill. 

S^^^^% ' -'■ ■" ' ^^^^^ ^^e-fc; P^'^d Heron. 
P^dio^reSid^;: ^ !ZtTl^*freb^'^^ ^■^teohe.ked Eulbul. 

Accipitridae:' Shikra, - ■- • 

Alcedlnidae; Pied Kingfisher." 

k™°^^^^^^'. ■ i"^^^^ Babtlor; Orpheon Warbler. 

KeroELdaei ._■- Little Greeo. Bee-eater. 

+1, 4-°",^ Interesting thing I noted a snalce goinr t^MiM-li 
the tank from one end to the other. Iften it relched thf ^ 

?he'st.'tt.' ""^^ ^°^ f T^ ^^*° ^ ^^''"^ "^ black.ang^ stilts. 
ihe stilts were not afraid and- did not fly over. Onlv two 
birds ohanged their-position and thsi: too^nly v^ry Sttle 

Sa^cL^LT!' ^ ^' -PP— *ly a 7-5 feet long Kat 

■is s«tt,*5l??^^°'-?\?^ *^^ ^^'^^^ °* India and Pakistani it 
fMon^^^1^= ^ *^-^ i""^^^ Blaoknaped Monarch Plyoatoher 
f n^t^n F^^r S^^SSi) is a mdespread resident of tha 

i^e^tt^ =°^^iEe5-t subject to e^tic local and .inter mo v^ 

dlcils^oif^ =2^^ "f ^ ^°'"^^^ country, erergreen or mixed 
aeciduous forests and secondary jungle. It is a resular- 

llu^s?l.f -^^r^:^ ^"' ^^^ only'^orded infoz^at^for 
Saurashtra is about a male bird collected by Salin jiii at 




Dwai-ka Eituated on the vester^i doast of Saurashtra. Tlie 
bird was GollecteC from a euphorbia jim^e in October 1945. 
la hi& article on the Birds of Gujarat (JMHfi 52:749-750) 
Salim Ali has recorded its presence at many other places 
in Gujarat except Sauraehtra, DliarmaitLmiarsiiih j i in his 
Birds of Sa.urashtra refers to the presence b-f the bird at 
Chanch in AJureli district.p^' ■:'" 

' ■-- ■ Lavkuniar Khacher has" seen the bird in the Gir Forest 
and he believes that it breeds there along the banks of 
the Hirsn liver. He has also seen a single male bird at 

^'^^'"'-■' Ba'ikijunar College, Rajkot, 12 years ago duxing winter, and 

at Janmagar during m.nter< Shivrajkujnar sai; it in Eingolgadh 
(Rajkot district) on 1^,9-1^62. He came across the bird 
again in Septonber 1970- when it i^s rir^ed. Shivrajkumar 

-■"""■ feels that the bird -^randers a^uay after the breeding season 
j^n the G-ir Forest end' Gimar over to the surrounding areas 
in the late monsoon and pest monsoon period. Pradyum Uesai 
confii^s having soeil a pair at ^ctoria Park, Bhavnagar in 
the early 70' s, ' 

While doing a nest census of the Indian Reef Heron 
( E^r'ett_a - Rularis ) at the T?Eew Port-Bhavnagar I saw a male 
blid searching for insects on a tamarind tree at a height 
of about 5 m on 9.O-80, I. t^as surprised to Xind this bird 
in such an isolated area, for the Port is about 7 km from 
Bhavnagar which is the nearest place ^^th a reasonable 
amount of vegetation. 

It would be useful to ^get more information about the 

presence of this flycatcher in " Saurashtra. 

pef ects of Urhani ^^ation on ihe Bird Fa^na of Bangalore 
by_A.E:. Chakravar thy; 

In five years (1975-79), si:s: spedie^s oT'-land and five 

species of wetland birds have been reduced to neai^ extinction 

in .the city. Ears species lika-the- Ghestnutb elli ed Nuthatch, 

Verditer' S^lycatcher, GheSt nutheaded Bee-eater and three 

others show no signs of revival in the areas surveyed* 

InoidentEiIly 14 Chestnut-headed- ^ee--eat5rs were seen 

ejnerging from a tall eucalyptus tree md air gleaning on 

insects in August, 1978. G]he birds stayed, on for about 

15 days there-'" _- ^ :.. -.^ ' '^ -^^ 

I ' "~T"" 

Of a total of 122 species', the density ,of 14 were 

below ten- " ' ' ;".'"" 


- .At the current late of incz-ease in the degree of 
■ lirbanisationj roughly five species per year tjOuld be 

'./'. ■■ .A'tLigtilyi.aigjiificsait proportion of birds breed in the 
' ", ■" -wooded areas on. the outskirts of Bangalore, ^o, 

conservation of the wooded areas is very important- 
Migratory' birds were more severely affected- by urbani- 
sation then the native spe^iies. 

The introduction of" .^Pishing Scheme' in 1977-78 at the 
pools eliminated all >/at erbirds. - Oray residents lilte Coots, 
and Eabchicks r.eapjpear^ .at th.©,.terinisa:ti,on of the fishing 
operation. ■ - -.,."'";,'■;; "' ■'-' ' ■ ■ = 

M^ents of the built-up" enviromient favoured only a 
few species of birds; Souse Eiparrovr, House GrovSjCcnmion 
Myna, and Blue Eock Pigeon, acme of these birds ar^ 
inci-easingly becomijig a nuisance to the public, 


Taking the above facts into account "a "suitable 
cojis.eiry^tion PQlicy ieius^_ b^. implemented in the city. 


I Mas' staying at Bamboo Banks at Mudumalal on 28th 
January 1931 when? at about 7 a.m., outside my bedroom 
"windoup there was a lot of squealing as of a harassed 
piglet. On going to see what vras happening, I looked dom 
Into the red 'beady eye^ of a orovj^pheasant ( C^L trgpjjs 
^in^gnsis ) glaring at me from directly under the window. 
The bird then started pecking at souething out of sight at 
the base of the wall , and the si^uealing resumed. It was a 
young hare ( Lep , i;; 5 n i^rico l li . s ) being attacked by the bird, 
and was prevented from escaping in one direction by the 
vail and, hampered by debris from free lateral movenent, 
was penned in by the bird, being severely pecked, and, it 
subse^iuently proved killed* However, later in the morning 
when I saw ,the hare's body it had not, as' far as I coold see, 
been eaten - although by that time a mongoose was also 
hanging around. 



Ve recently cBine to" kno^: that tiie last bit of open 
ground on the northern side ot the Adyar Estuary is to 
be tnade into a housing colony. As jou might he a^:are 
this clace is a potential hreeding area of a number oi 
SDscies like the yellow a^d red -^^ttled lapmngs, stone 
curlews, black bellied finch larks, radwinged bushlarks, 
plpitB, bee-eaters and kijigfishers and beeides provides 
a feeding groimd to a nianber of speciee including migra- 
tory i-jagtails, short-eared owls whioh were-recently observed 
here, short-to ed larks , rollers, drongoE, plovers, bushohats, 
kites and other birds. The adjoining mrsli^s, the back- 
waters, islets atid the mudflats have a variety of migrant 
waders v^ch use this as a place of rest during their 
migration. Recently there has beei a big coiioent:^tion or 
Avccets, described as rare in South India by the Handbook 
and we counted Up to 72. Mr-, Bill Harvey, a keen or^it.^ao- 
logist, working at the British Council counted some 89 on 
the same day. Besides we have recorded Ringed Plover ^ 
( Ch^rad rius ^^tisJ^^) ^■^'^'^^ ^^ recorded as. a vagrant in 
India and at present there are a douple or so of them at 
the estuary. __ ..- . 

" flamingoes, 3and Martins, Prigate birds and a nujaber 
of other unusual birds have- been reoorded from here 
occasionally- Ely 5-year records shov7 that the estuary 
■area together i^ath the Theosophieal Society CaropuB on the 
'Southern side, vrooded and well-protected, contain no less 
^ than 1^ species, ^hioh is an unusual number when one 

takes into consideration the very small area and the fact 
_t^t this is situated rl^t inside the 4-fch largest city 
:in India--' ■''" 

The officials ruled ou-^ the question of a sanctuary 
here because of the prqi^imil^- of the airporfc, but tliis is 
not a valid objection'. 

'J}^,-^ sii-i.cides in th e NorUL-Sga^ 

Gas flares over the IJo^rth Sea oil rigs are -Ti'sible 
over long distanoes against the complettG-y dark background 
"of the Winter, The Hatural Qases from oil rigs cannot be 
exploited fully and therefore have to be burnt off seme 
40 to BO meters above the sea level- Migratory thirds 
going to their tjin.ter homes in manner climates are attrac 
ted to these flares, as moths to a flame, and are roasted 
alive- During September and October the toll is the 
highest, particularly during foggy weather. 


British 03*iithologlst Bryan Sage wiio managed to get 
aome information regaTdlng the bird deaths says the first 
accident occured in 1975' !I?he oil companies have refused 
joumaliats access to oLl rigs to atu^dy the phenomenon, 
yet one tJorwegian journal was able to get some information 
from ±1,70 offshore trorkers that starlings and thrushes 
were among the maximum killed. Sage says that according 
to some workers on the rig, in the night of 25-26 October 
1977, 1500 dead birds ^^ere counted on the platform of an 
oil rig- But sines many roasted birds -v/ould have fallen 
directly into the sea, the toll may have been as high as 
5,000 at that spot. The exhausted birds literally catoh 
fire and plummet into the Sea, foiroing small smoke clouds 
as they hit the water. 

Most oil oojupanies ignore the problem totally and 
protests have not been able to move them. Only British 
Petroleun'- seems to be "willing to let an Ornithologist 
study the problem. Protective measures osn be taken only 
If one knows the details involved- 

T^rought in Vedantj^n^,^ ; 

This year the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is dry as 
there were no rains in October-December. JQ, though Madras 
city had good rains, Chingeiput dlstiiot did not have 
usual rains and as a consequence drought conditions/ 
prevail, 1 have liio^n going to Vedanthangal every month 
since August but until the last v.'eek of Novaaber, there 
■was no water there. The Forest Department announced that 
there was no water even In Mid-December. ^Qn at Karikili 
Sanctuaryt nearby, there is no ■■■jater. Though some -water- 
birds are seen around, there la no sign of nesting. Ducks 
are also seen in flight, circling the tanks as in the 
case of other water birds, and flying away. The Forester 
at Vedanthangal is happy, as he believes the drought would 
give a chance to the Ag_^_cla arabica, which have been 
planted in the lake on a large scale, to oome up and 
provide more nesting place for the birds in future. 

Got r es po n d ^ c _g 

a ^jj^-from g;op,es)ivay ):> , y , ; BsUBhj^ C!K^ - n , doJ. e : 

The Scarlet ilinivets 1 saw at Tungnath at 2750m in 
May had come domi to Duggalbitta, the base of the mountains 
200Dm in October last -week- And now they are £ll in the 
Oak forest in Gopeshwar at I6OO111, There are beautiful' 


TickeLl^s Blue Elyc?-tchers too^ and the Paradise 
Flycatch.ers of this forest have disappeared, as have the 
Collared Bushchats and Drongo from G-opBSh'\'7ar itsell* 
WMtecheeked, and, Eedvented 'bulbulB alike sean to dominata 
the place. But come to think of it I did not see a single. 
■ , -whiskered. I ajQ reporting ahout Octooer, Tree Piae 
which noimally abound in the periphery of the Oak forest 
have not/ come do-wn in the .open on the rock sides. May 
"be they do not get enough light ^id. heat in the shaded 
f OT^sat. . 

BeJiaTipur. of a ro ck nipeon b-^ Aashe est^ jPittip : 

ri,' On 24th January 19Si, our class' at college was Just 

beginning (1000 hrS-} when I glanced -out of the wLX\dow. 
On the ali^vent of a building, across the road sat a 
Blue Rock Pigeon ( Opl umba ;Li.vla ) . Siaddenly the bird took 
off and rose to a-height of approx. , ^SO feet and - 
started hovering. 

A-bird iflhich I had never seen doing ^at it vas at 

that moment, had its mngs to stay in one place -^ like 
an oddly coloured, extra fat, smateur SestrelU It main- 
tained position for 3-5 seconds and then sort of tumbled 
over, then again resiijaed hovering* . . ■ 

'This cycle - hover, tumble, hover - the bird executed 
five times and then sailed dovn to its fojrmer perch. 

What could have prompted the fellov to hover? >fe.s it 
some kind of display? May be some readers would know. 

■- .: ffhQ3tnut -head ed^ee:"eater_ jji Hagard.bagh bv Alana: 

■ ■■ r 

On the aftemooh of the March 16th I -was attracted 
outside by the sound of a bird -wTaich I could not remember 
ever having heard before; a rather loud, ^stswee, stswee, 
.^tsweej stswee** On locating i-ts source imagine my delight; 
to view a bird.-^^hich I had also previously never seen. 
High above me, making a-vexy colourful sight on a bare 
branch of a rusty shieldbearer, was a Chestnut- headed Bee- 
eater (!^I.erops_lgs c henaul tl ) ■ Its -most noticable features 
were a bright yellow throat "terminating in a dark band, 
a chestnut coloured head, and the absence of- any centrat" 
and projecting tail pins# ' :-. 

The sam'e evading I encountered a pair Of. .theri sitting 
in. "a young Sal tree, at a distance of about 150 yards from 


the first Gi^htingj and again at the same place the 
follomng moraing, that time there bsing three of them. 
I had n-yrev before come acroef^ a Chestnut- headed Bee-, 
eater in Haaaribaghj although there are many small green 
Bee- eaters (Marcpfi .jrienialis) j these also sometimes 
■without tail pins. 

Possibly I should ad'i that I live fairly close to 
a badly denude^ forest area so that those vho are more 
knowledge^.ble CEii perhaps assess the likelihood of than 
still beii^g in the area. Such an attractive bird, once 
seeo-T '^^^ Ei^rely not easily be forgo-^jten, but to see one 
again vouXd. be almost as thrilling as seeing it for the 
f-irst tir_e. 

Brahmin V 6 a cks f Tad.oma_f .errugl nea ) in largo, numbers 
b y_Iir,, ,._E,-S^ii.cL-rg^ . 

On 8th and lOth March 19-81, a group of bird-watchers 
visited Eavadi village, about 10 km fiom Pune. Suarprisingly 

we noticed only migratory birds on the river bank of Mula- 
Mutha. !C'he birds tliat we observed vere; 

About 2.0 White necked stoidcs ( Cictm. ia eois^oua) 
About 20 "I'/hiie ibis C Thres kinoi nis m^ a^ nocephala ) 
About 10 BrahiQiny duoJc \ Tadomr / ferri^n^e a) 
Over a 100 Oarganey teals 

There is a possibilltj- that all these migratory birds 
were on their return Joumoy^ and tbe availability of 
adequate food ?iight'be one of the rtasons for their stay- 
ing back Eo laie. 

girds killed at "^^^ h'^s-r- a mv sterjy^ . ^jr^-^ ^ - ^tpg. r EliachQr ; 

'Reference the note in the Marr-hrApril 1981 issue of 
the-Hewsletter by KE. Eao on page 8- I have^ been very 
gui^etlj reading notes on the Jatinga avian suicides 
appearinj^ at ye[i;ular intervals. So nov vre have a few more 
suicidal birds in Mlaoram and it se&ms bird populations 
■in other pai-ts of £,E, Asia .also tf^d to coromit Harakiil. 
Hy r^w^.ccnim'ents- 

1> The so, called resiclen-l: birds do migrate Iccallyi 

SOj if t'?.-; tiniiiigs of these mass, harakiris are noted we 

might leai~n somethiiig about the mljgrati'on of our so-called 
resident birdSa 


2. That a pax-ticular wiiid has to blow is to be 
appreciated when we realise that mist can forro only 
v/hen a particular i>And_ blovrs at a particular time of 
day at a particular time of the year. Simple metreologi- 
cal issues are involved. 

there is ra 

5. Birds -will dash against the lights only "liian 

.. ! is raist because this is i-^en the lights are defused 

'to resemble a glow of daHi or a moon lit sky and the 
■ feather brained creatures get befooled.! would like to 
in-uite my friends to try crossing a high, Himalayan pass 
in dense mist- The experience is a rerelation, 

^_ 4- It has been known for long that on foggy nights 

Migratory song birds do get mixed up around light houses 
in temperate countries and :Q.Q:ay have been reported 
■ cofliiitg to gri'ef against the glass panes of the light houses 

5. In Saurashtra at Hingolgadh^ we have had a 
flariken fly into the lighted house> Bird books report 
of Hnerald DoTes dashing against white washed walls o'f 
forest bungalCT^ going at the lick they - and incidently 
the three toed kingfishers, do, is it S'jirprising if they 
^T'^iT^d their error too late to rectify-' 

" '^-^■-J^lite_st 2rk^n_Xello^e^^ 

. -I'was fascinated'by the note on ihe ^fhite storks, 
by. A.C^^ICarat axid others, in the Newsletter of March- 
April, '-And lid-th good -reason,, .it .tas in the same area 
that 1 aav: v/hite storks nearly a decade back, ^en I 
used to llTe.dii Vellore. 

In April, 1970, I v;as going in a motor-cycle with 
a fiiend, on the Aini road- Just before the T B Sana- 
torium, about 5 km from the spot^'where our friends had 
seen the birds recently, we saw two white storks on a 
dried up lake bedj to the right of the road. {Chey 
appeared quite at home tltere and were ',;alking about in 
measured pace. Elicited by the sighting, I wrote a note 
on the observation i/iiioh va-s published in the Hli^DU of 
7*7.70, (Weekly magasine) . 

In 1976, X saw-a pair near &ummidipopndi, in November. 
A Tamil poemj from circa 6-7th century AD, by Sathimutra 
■ Pulavar, gives an accurate descilption of the white stork 
and talks about a pair flying from Cape Comorin, towards 
the north t 


£gQ^-g.^y i^¥__^j H rB. ,-baeeo ^uthellv : 

The.JPXc.'t.ox±sX Bn.cvcl6ve6.lQ. of B irds bv ,T . !T?.r^rfay , 
Traaisiated by Olga ICuthanova, Edited by Eruce Carapbell 
Hamlyn £ 2,95- 580pp 

"'adhere are several unusual things about this book, 
TtLS name of the autlaor sounds like a Caeck name, the 
text haa "been translated into Siglish (from the Czeck 
language?) and certainly the book haa been pidnted in 
Caeckoalovakia. It ia scientific and precise and more 
thsn nonnally pictoxialj in that nine tenth of the page- 
space is taicen up by photographs, eiceLlent onea< It 
\iB.Q first printed in 1967 and has been reprinted every 
other year- The paper and production are first-rate; in 
bulk and t^eight the book must be over t^vo I-d-los, and 
the price works out at ite. 54*50. Where can you get 
better value? 

*0f necessity^ says, Bruce Campbell, ^photographs 
of stuffed specimen or of birda in captivity have been 
used for a few speoiee, but the photographic resources 
of the world have been acoured for studies of species in 
the wild, and the Qicyclopedia is notable for the nujaber 
of pictures of birds from the Eastern parts of the great 
Eurasian landmass, ^jo species is mentioned in the test 
without a supporting photograph,...* 

This vast amount of material has bean organized in 
a practical and lucid manner. IJLthout any sectional or 
chapter divisions you go straight through the 37 Orders , 
with ahoit succinct general dascri-jtiona of each species 

and its distribution. 

The photographs have no captions, only numbers. The 
text itself is a kind of extended caption, and the mention 
of a apecies - in "bold type - is altjaya followed by a 
number corresponding to the number on the photograph. 
^ The editors muat be good at putting jigjaw puazles to- 
gether for they have managed to so arrange things that 
the relevant photo is on the same page, - in fact usually 
ne::ct to- the descrLptioii of the bird, So that if you 
^,'ant to look up a bird, you look up the index which 
gives you the page number? and here you find both the 
photo of your bird as well that part of the text sdiich 
describes it. 




The appearanij^:'. 

■ .rt" 

j^b% is continuous and flowing, 

i-fc does not liaT-e^ftfij s e^^'^',^%^: of -the. conventional 
dictionary or enoyolopedis.' tedalSe" it ia not brok^ up- 
into headings, 

M admirabl'S introduction puts the reader in . 
possession of the basic facts of .omithology - 
including those areas of dou"bt or diBagreement- - 
'beginning id-th the evolution :of ."avian life and ending 
-with their conservation.' ¥.e "(^n only repeat that, 
one-way and another, its very good value. 

-I r 

I. ' ' ■ ? 

I 'J 


. ^-■J. 

- -''- •-. T 

'"■: 'j:-r 

"'''. — - 

-W "!"■. ■,!?,i- 

t lI 



f - 

Editor: Zafar Futehaily >^^ 

Dodda Gubbi Post, Via Vidyanagar, Bangalore - 562134 ' ^ 

Annual Subscription Rb. 15/- 

Cover Picture •' Blacktailcd Godwit (Limosa limosa) 

Photo by: E. Hanumantha Rao 

" ^ 




Ne / sletter for 

VOL X/^.-yO. 6 JUNE, 1981 




- ^ ' ' .. ^ 

Vol;''2Sr -To^fe " June 19S1 


^DiAdhwa - A Bird-vjatclLerS Paradise^ by S.F. Haque, 

Extract from -a le1;ter by Mariiiider Singh to hia mentor 
Lav Eumar Eliacher, i . ■ ' .", 

Bird Std.aides in the tTortli Sea by 7-3antharam, 

A Bird count in a vraodland in Liidhiana[Punjab) by ""' '""^ 
A ,K <'CIiakrava.rthy - , . 

■Lesser G-ray Slirike(Lanius minor) off Sulchna Lake by" 
■A.E.Chalcravartliyj P.^, Sandhu and P.K. Ananda Rao- 
Gulls in Mysore "by K.m.las Karaintli, Kewa Singh, Eajgopal 
Chestnfit Headed Bee-eater by SitLloy Iman- 
^"White Stories oja I^Iigration by' S.N.Varu, 

Decrease in Bird Population of Kainital by Bipin CJiandra 
Pande- - :'..-. 

Plaintive CucJcoo in Sparrows' nest by' D.Sidiiartba. 

tfdrrg soond enc G 

Bird vjatohing at Bhatinda(-Punjeb') by Piiiesh- Sikarid, 

Orange "headed I^orth Indian CitrLna observed for the 

first time in Bliubaneswar by Hari Prasad Patnaili:- ,' ' ■" - 

Bird watching in Oaro Hills, Meghaiaya hy Dr,3as,Biswas.. 
'C3ro.l^ efjo'y poultry chi.cks by D,B- Pawar, 

Book Review by I'Tra.Laeeq FutheLly. 

Errata^ " " 

Edit orial 

From mv dia ry. . Andlie ri , Bo mbay ;_ 15 ,6 ,t$_8 ; I heard the calls 
of a Drongo CuckoOj the ascending seven, note^ which I do 
not recall hearing in our garden before- Stuart Ijaker 
says la his Pauna Volume IV that the genus SURITICUL'JS is 
reEiar-kabl e for its es:traordina:i:'y resemblance, both in 
structure and colouratiim to the coraaion Black Drongc< If 
I had the collectors snaniaj which I am fortunate in not--- 
possessing, I would take the three eg^s in the neSt of 
the Black Drongo to cheek if any of theia belonged to 
SeTR^TICULUS IITGUBRIS [The interesting feature of this bird, 
apart from its call is that though in general appearance 
it is SO like the Elack Droiigo its 'flight is cuckoo like 
and noticeably diff^erent from drongo's' ] 

;i8_^6_..68 : S^rly morning today a Pond Heron, in breeding 
plumage {but without orange red legs) came on ou;r Rayan 
tree and started to tug at a "t'^^ig abviously for nesting 
material- It was a quaint perfoimance, and evoked memories 
of sights seen in gymnasiams vfesre' seekers of healths 
.perched precariously on double bars ^stretch out in various 
directions, , Even, when reaching for'a t^d-g the bird 
stretched out slowly in the saice way that it does when "■ 
aiming at its prey and had great difficulty in finally 
taking it away- It made :four tid-pe for the same purpose, 

-22i£i£§.' 3!n the everiirtg' I w3.b privileged to see the comic 

and pompous courtship of spotted Hunias. I think Malcolm 
Hacdoneld has described this in his ^Birds in a Delhi 
Garden^ and trhat I saw brought back to mind vSiat he wrote. 
The female and the male were both tugging away at branch- 
lets-of-a ^VILAITEB IMLI' tree, I ajn surprised that birds 
go to ^- the trouble of breaking green twigs from trees when, 
so much _matejaal is lying on the ground for the asking- 
But presumably green twigs are stronger and more lasting 
than dry stuff. The birds certainly had to strain a lot 
in tearing avay what they wanted. They, swing down almost 
half circle from their perches and put all their strength 
in the attempt- ^ter a while the female perched along- 
side the male, bent forward and started shivering her tail, 
so compellingly that in a few seconds the male succumbed 
to the invitation. But before doing so, he started to 
dance sideways, shifting his balance from one leg to the 
other like a maestro on the dance floor. 

a|i4-ic^£gj^J|i: Or. -the 29-th a-nd 50tli May, I -,;as in 
MOOLATIATTOM , 55 miles east of Cachin belo,. the Tm± 
dam, A vasat -io Kerala ±3 startling evei^y time." IHougH 
the natural forests have disappeared, the capaaity of the 

Jac^ruit, Banana, Coconut, Tapioca, Cocoa, SeBper and 
^any more plants survive shoulder to sboulder. The fact 
that tn ere iB so much food around is probably the reason 

t\ll!^ '^? ^^^°^^ ^° ^° °^ ^^^"^^ ^°^ «o^'t^^ at a time. 
At Moolamattom no™ an eavironnient of cooonut and hananas. 

rpst >,^^= ^i ^ see too many birds, but around our 

ftVvT^^^M'^"^^ plenty of Redwhiskered Bul-buls, a 
^^^V I r^^ Sulbuls.vmtebreaBted Kingfisher, Soldi, 
hacked woodpecker, -Crovj Pheasants, courtirfa Blue-wineed 
Parakeets, Jungle Bobble Ioten<. 3«nblrds^ sl^f 
others -ae artificial lalce mth a ,«ter l^eafofa? 
n=i+L^^^ "2^ yet attracted any birds. We sa-.f only 2 
Darters in the ,.,ater, and sinoe Barters live on f iah . 

o^b^^bf^ ^? ^^'^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^'l 1^^^ ^I>°^d att^ct 
other birds m course of txBie. 



_3is t.;Jain lta1 

'Dudhwa National Park, wjiich holds eleventh position 

in the national list of the 'National Parks 

in India is 

jI^Tn """^K^^ ^^s* °* approximately A95 sq.kms. on lite 
Pradesb^S.^'^if'' \? i^^^alpui^-Klieri district of Uttar 
Pradesh .Declared a Kational Park in February 1977, Dudhwa 
is largely scrub jungle liberally interspersed 4th a 

f=^ff-^''^^^^.°^ ^^-^'^^^ ^"^ *^^^^- ^^ i^ faiDOUB for deer 

s^^^ f '^^^"""^^'^''^^''^^ ^°^ ^'^^5 '^^^^^ Besides the dear 
species, tigers, leopards, elephants and a good number 

of bird species are also well represented in this park. 

is not^n^^i + ! particular season. Our check-list 

1. R+1 complete and a few more bird-speciee are yet to be 

deci^dn;„= r°^ the ecology of Dudh.ffl is. Swampy Ith 
^so Z^b f°^^^^' :^he insect population in the ■ park is ' 
S^ of n.= ''r'' t^^"- ^''^^^^^^■- consequently the po^ula- 
Ti-^d\^ ^''?~^'t'^''^ °^^^^ 'i^- Bee-eaters Drongoa', Hynas 
Flycatchers, Wagtails, etc. are «ell represented here. 

carsdT^f? ^r"" "^^J a Paradise Plycatcher(Terpsi phone 

paradisi), my favourite bird, flji-L^g and looping their . 

beautiful long tall in -the air Qust on and near the bank 
of the Suhaeili river.' 

Mong tjater^birds PelicanSj Dkrter^, COimorants, 

Herons, Egrets, Storks, IbiseSj Spoon bill. Ducks, Geese, 
Coota can be seen in flocks of Jiundreds in Bankey and 
Kakraba, tbe t-vjo tals (ponds) situated deep in tbe forest, 
a^jay from e^very sort of disturbance^ 

If park officials manage to provide more p&rching 
facilities for birds near -water-pockets, I thirik the number 
of birds might increase, 

Ty^e best season to watch and study birdlife In 

Dudbwa is from November to i^pril every year- 

itetracJL^£rom_^_lett£r b_V Tdanlnder £^ingh . H-15 , g-re ateT- 
Eailas h I^ ■ iYe \j bclh i 4 8> to his mentor L av Kumar Kh ^ober ; 
I have managed to reach my '50^ on my checklist. The 
BimS checklist for the regioti(Delhi) catalogues 450 or so- 
While Usha G-anguii has crossed over 300, I have set as 
my target, Alexander 0, Kumes' S7j-'in his ^Birds in my ■ "" . 
Indian Garden', and would be delighted if I could reaoh 
it in another two jea^i^. 

My checklist is a separate fiXe, with serial number, 
latin name, common name, jotted doi-jn in chronological order 
-of identifica"l;ion along with a brief note, giving the date, 
place, and time tihen the bird was identified. 

Identification itself involves jotting down plumage 
and sise details in my field notes, coming back, and 
delving into my ^ Salim Ali' and Usha Ganguli while the 
memory is green, and finally, copying domi niy field notes 
as well as the 'field identification' guidelines given 
in the reference volumes. Then I, compare the characteristics 
observed to those recorded, and finally give my o^ijn verdict 
on whether the identification is to my satisfaction^ If 
it is sufficiently positive, another jubilant entry is 
made in the 'checklist' file. 

Tour one line about Peregrines did much to raise^my 
joy at reading your card. I^reams have a strange ^vay of 
coming true-after in the most casual, unespected fashion*- 

■ ^,1 have also had ±h-2 appOL^funit-y to a£ibOVY-t'sT 

^°°r^f ^r °- ^.'^''^'^^'' ^b-itei.-, Kal Borland, a:i /jQ^.rican, 
whose 'nature editorials' m th<? Hew York crimes we^-e a 
regular teature of ths paper for -seven yeP.ra- Out of the 
over 1,900 pieces, he selected 565 before his death, which 
viere published in iDook foz^ji; ■'■Tweleve months of the year; 
Xhe marvellous date^'dae record of nature^ s Etreajn splashing 
through the year - slo^ng, veary in vjinter, cascading and 
rippling m spring', racing in the jiunerioan suonoer and 
eadying hesitantly in Autumn iaakes absorbing reading^. 

^^^^ l'^^^^ found the more 1 probe deeply into birds, the 
more fascinating their v^rld becomes, and the pleasure of 
mrav^ling, tiny bit by excruciatingly tiny bit, the 
complex parts of their life, is a task that yields end- 
less pleasure. Of course, most observations are initial 
and explanations often erroneous, but that only increases 
^he joy at finding my obsei^rations and notes about bird 
nntSv .r^^i'"?^^?' Salii^ Ali , and an obscure 
quiric of bird behaviour in 'the Peregrine' is vividlv 
port;c.ayed before my eyes. ^ : ■ 

Perhaps the most fascinating - aiid being So large, 

the easiest to study is the kite. Gradually, hie endless 
meanderings begi^ to make a little sense - aAd each ^ng- 
beat and loop show a little of the shadows chdnging through 

smooth, lyrical movements makes my heart move ^th a 
strange joy that only a fellow bird watcher can' undersland, 

I K:now, now, a little bit, of what Baker means in hie book, 

.^ -j^"^v times 1 feel that perhaps reading about gliding 
would help to understand much about a kite's lifl - and 

i^^t^i^4- J^^''"^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^"^ ^ oorner of my mind for a 
distant future, 13 to go up in a glider myself, and to ,- 
see the world tlirough the Kite's vantage, and become 

t?^^ V, ?>,^^ °'^'^^'' ^^^"^ '"^^^^^ ^^ ^^^' corksereid-ng, 
through those mysterious them^^ls, to a higher world, 

i^ ^J'^^'^A^^ item, one which you can perhaps help me about, 

II T^^ t ^"^'^ ^^"^ °'' ^"^^^ anatomy - and if possible/ 
even ^^^sect a bird, l am not enough of a romantic to put 

f^i !r?^^^^ ^^°^^ scientific necessity, and I firmly 

IhS^.^V^tt'^' '^.*^ ''■' "^ ^^^^' ^^^ ^^^^^ location and 

mv n^H l^^}^^^ ^^ muscles, on a corpse would help in 
my understanding of a birds body - and hence flight , and 
HI e* 

^ Ooe.-.tliing;! have learnt is ±^ is -,m)ng to sentimenta- 
lise aoout nature a.s an snd unto itsel:^. To aTj^-^reci" t--- ■- 
beauty should not drown the need ■for'.a" cold, eVSn ruth- ■■■ 
less, ap.praisal of facts* . 

. . ^/hich is ^^y Ejy nature diary has two types of entiies- 
icept carefully separate. a dry, unadorned, statement.- 
01 iaG^,s and obsory^.tions, as obje^itively as possible - 
this IS followed "oy an attempt at s^^planation id-th all 
the possible alternatives I can thlr^ oT being Jotted do^-n, 
and then ruled out or favoured on the basis of systemati- 
cally arranged arguments, ending with either a ouestion 
marie, or ,a^ declared preference for either alternative. 
I tiave been unable -yet to find out the significance of 
most observations,. but in the mass of data, there mi^ht 
some day appear an unfajniliar, unknown obser-vation - the^ 
sort every ornithologist dreajis of L ' 

The second'is an entirely descriptive effort, trvine 
to capture not so aiuch ^^at ^^s there to be seen/but 
what was seen, « and ine^ctricably linking the observer - 
vnth the observation - mj emotions and responses, coming 
?^.t F^^^ strength. , It is extracts froiS^ theSe that ^ 
1 have been sending you, ~ ' 

-^-.. ?i 2J^^^°- ^T^e differences are only superficial - 
without the aBomonal motivation, bird watching ..ould be. "' 
ary, indeed - and an unattractive pursuit or for that 
patter ^thcut an attempt to gauge, carefully, and 
^st^atically >^at is happening, descriptive >rriting 
w:uld have little to describe. Yet, the distinction 
remains necessary. Missing them wblild render both 
meaningless, , =^ l.^ wi 

^ a^ ^so beginning a separate ring-file, with a 
separate page and Series of pages for oach bird, with 
n^tes on distiabutlon plumage, behaviour nesting, 

^he i^,QXe thiilg. is getting most pleasurably thicki 


Gas flaros over 'blic ITortb Sea oil ri^B are visible ovsr 
long distances against the coii:p?,etely dark 'bo.-:,.^TO^nd of 
the winter- ^lie riatur^'a Gases ■±rom oil rigs cannot be 
exploited fully aiid therefore- haUe' "to ^be burnt off sotae 
4Q to 80 moters above the sea level. Migratory birds 
going to their ^.anter hoBSS in vanper climates are attra-^ 
cted to these flares, as moths to a flame, and are roas- 
ted alive, Diirin^; September anc\ October the tolls are 
the highest particularly during foggy v:eather- , 

British Ornithologist Bryan Sage who managed to get .; 

some information regardiiig be bird deaths sajs the first 
accident occured in 197^- ^iie oil companies have refused 
journalists access to oil rigs to study the phenomenon, 
yet one Norwegian journal was able to get some infonaation 
from t-wo" off shore workers that starlings and thrushes "were .,"■ 
among the fflaximum killed. Sa^e says that according to 
some workers on the rig, in the night of 25^26 October 1911, 
1500 dead birds vere counted on the platform of an oiX ^g» , 
Btrt since many roasted birds would have fallen directLy 
into the sea, the toll may bave been as high as 3^0^ ^^ 
that spot. The es:hausted birds literally catoh fire and . 
plummet into the sea, forming small snoke olouds as they 
hit the -v^ter. 

Most oil coiTipanies ignore the problem totally and 
protests have not'heen able to movo them. Only BritiBh._ " ^__ 
Petroleum sesus to be willi?^ to let an Ornithologist ' .' 
study the problem- Protective measures can be taken only,^, 
if one knows details involved- 

Vedanthangal : May 1 inform our readers that this year, ., 

the Vedanthangal bird SEinctuary is dry as there were no 
rains there this. season. Usually it rains here in Octobsr- 
December, Although Madras city had good rains, Chingelput 
district did not have the usual rains and as a consequence 
drought conditions prevail here, I have been going to 
Vedanthangal every month since August but tilX my last 
vl.sit in last week of November, there was no water there-, 
The Porest, Department announced that there was no water 
even in mid^December , Even at Karilekili sanctuary, 
nearbyj there is no water. Though some waterbirds are 
Seen around, there is no sign of nesting. Lucks are also 
seen clrculing the tanks as in the case of other vjater 
birds and flying away. The Forester at Yedanthangal "is 
bappy, as he believes the dros^^t would give a chance to 


the Acacia arabiWj iM'trfi teen planted in the lU^e on^ ^ 

fiomm^rfes: Ihe editor had suggested that the thrush I had 

range of this race ir-Cludes Madras. But I aa pretty 
certain that it is the Z.C. Citiina that I hsd seen (as 
m^ti.nei in the note - Maroh-Ap^l , 1981 issae)^ I L 
^^"-^i^^ ^*^ ^« foimer race, ha^iiig seen it in Cochin 

fr^ ^1^ ^^e^- ^^^^ ^i^'i ^ h^d seen in I-5adras clearly 
lacked the white throat and white sidas of the head 
tanded i^ertioally jath black v^.ich is characteristic of 
the race cyanotus {white throated ground thxtiah) but had 
a uriifono orange head, throat a:id iwderparts. Also - ' - 
f^' ?!i^" -^^ mentions that the race atrina spreads out 

Ppt--?^^^ t.,"'^^^ ""^^"^ Karthern India and dom to SSil^n. 
Perhaps the bird seen in Kadras i-as a passage mieJ^tT" 

RTi,« l^'l"^"^"^ ^^'^^ BharmB. is not right in saying that 
JiiUB Tpck pigoons, house sparrows and roserlnp^ed naraJcps+a 

cmes7rr'"'^'^?r' ^-n^^-- -d oth^louth I'Sil^' 
cities (February, 1981 issue). Also I disa^-ree with hi r 
Observation that birds are often abs^t if Southlndia 
because the humans do not look on them^ with a fileidiv 

T^t^^Vr'-''^'^'^' (--tioned ahov"^)'are pre'^i 
thP th!f localiT^ies Qiilv as they feed the birds. All 
Mad™= ^"e'^Ti^^^tio^ed species are guite common in 

Oent™i^+= + -'' *^' ^"^^^^* P^^*^ "^ *^ '^i*y lite tl'e 
thltl\ " '''-^^ ^^'^ Parry's Comer. Apart from 

sclci^s pn.^^'' ^5^^-^ ^P°^ ^^^'i i^ tiie busiest localities, 
buildiL^^L^%|^°"^^!"^^^ ^'^'^^ ^^^^ i^ *te High cooi^t 
™s TtT °^?^'- °lder buildings, common svallows , 

Mrfr^«\i Ih"™^^ Indians are not as imfriendly to^ids 
wi^t S^J!"^-^-^™? suggests. One can, to this day, see 
^d al^n^^S.''^^^'^ ^"^ ■^'- ^'^^y localities of Madras, 
SLf f =^ ^"^ hundreds bt egrets moving into the city 
a hi^/l^ ^ ''°°S*- Ve-i^^^angal ,^uld not have be en^ 
^liagers rfv^ ^^ ??"■ *^' P«>*^ction given by the local 
have thrh=,-i.T^ % "^^ Mari,^nE, many South Indian coismunitles 
stat™.n+^r^ °I feeding crows before their meals. The 

the talf .^ .^^.^^^^ ^^Z"^' Sulbuls, Babblers etc and that 
S not^^n^ S 1^^'^^'=* ^i^-^^" iiJ^s stilt, sandpiper etc 

abou? b.rfl^^.'^q•^?^'^^ ^^^ ^^^^' "^^ously, mlslnfomed 
atjout birds m South India and has coii?e to conclusions 
T&thout substantial field observations. ""lOJ-iisions 


Regarding White s-fcor]5:ej I ^jas told "by Mr. Bill Harvey 
and one or two otliers tlmt these ^ii-ds had been sighted 
near Malia'baiipuram this -frnLnter. 

A-^iEd__co.mJL_ir. .a. .iwQOdland in Ludhlana fPun .j ab) , b y 
A^I^-Chakra v^^rt jiy. 3DR S.rl.I^aJcshiai Mla vam. _IL^t^^^ 
Ra;ia^1ina^ar, Ban^ralo re -56 , 00^ ^! In March, 1930, 
Mr-C-ovindakri^hnan and Mr-Ananda Rao, Dr,waidu and Mr, 
Sandhu and Bi-.I-Ia.-Jjit and I counted birds in a tjoodland 
(=lha) consisting of tall trees of Salber^ria sis boo and 
medium sized trees of the species of silver aak7 
Eucalyptus. £iiJ^aj4a a^id Neeri,um> Ths predominant weeds 
vere of the species of Ghenc.uo diLim and Lgn tan^^ The vjood- 
land had densely -- and sparsely vegetated ^areas . The ■■ 
densely wooded portion had tall and medium trees as welOi- 
ae good weed population. In sparsely wooded portxonj " 
weed popoLation was low and trees had not pickcd-up 
good height. The ^:joodland was surveyed for birds by: 
(1) Line transect {count along a straight line)C2) diiss- 
croBB transect (count along a 'S^ shaped line) (5)Spot- 
watch (count from 5 spots - 1,2 and 5). 

Each time the bird species and numbers were noted 
through a pair of 8 s 30 binoculars. About 15 minutes 
were spent for each method of count, l^o two persons 
counted birds by more than one method. 

Densely vegetated area recorded more birds than 

sparsely vegetated area and interestingly all three 
methods of count vers required to detect maximum, i.e- 
20 species (see Table 1). 


Table 1; Bird species and nuintsrs Iq the "^/oodland 

'of birds 

Red Breasted 
Flycstcher(l) =-_ - 

Black Drongo(4) 

Green- Bee-eater(5) 

Hing Dov(7) 

Redstart ( 2) 

Coitimon MynaC 2) 

Lar^s Grey Babuier(7) 

Coppersmi th{± ) 
.PUr^ile Suiibird(2) 

iLittXe Browi Dov(5) ■ 

Tree Pi©(2) ' 

Red Vented BulbLa(5) 

Golden Oxlole( 2) 

Parlali Kite(l) 

Pied myna(3) 


Indian Eodin(4) 

Ashy ¥ren-Warbler{2) 


Whi t e-b r eas t ed 







■ * sy ** 


Spot2 Spct3 



+ """ ' 

+ ' 





-f.'L : 









— — 



+ . 








—_ — 





■\ "~~ 

^ v^ 




— ■ 


I- _ 












— - — 






— _ 








- ■ 




+ 4- 



— ■ 



— _ 






m^ ^ 

+ -i 




Uo. Of Species detected 16 77 ll 

Wof^lndt"^ l^rackets indicate the numbers of birds in the 

* Densely vegetated area 

** Sparsely vegetated area '._ 

■+• Present 


On 2nd Februar;^ 1980 oTer a stub in a A9M,&'} ^ patch a bird 
was sighted through a pair o£ Sx^O hirtoculars. Our previous 
field experience indicated the bird; smaller £iz9, short 
tail £jid less white on wings, uct to be a Grey Shrike - a 
species quite con^LiOTily seen particularly during winter in 
and around txjoded areas in Punjab. Being an unusual species^ 
the bird \jaa watched for more than an hour and detailed notes 
on it were recorded in the field briefly, the bird ^^^s 
distinctly smaller than the G-rey Shrike; forehead black; 
head grey; chin bright white; greyish blue apperparts; at " 
rest, readily visible were 5, white(roughly ' V shaped) 
banis intercepting black wing tips; white underparte ^th 
greyish tinge at sides; tail short; legs black; a thick 

black band across eye's; call sounded like Treew 

Treeau--.. Treew, attered feebly while on perch; preferred 
to perch on stubs just above ground over stubs at greater 
heights; foraged on surface prey and picked-up insects 
Ce,g< grasshopper, cricket) frequently from the same perch; 
approachable from about 3 meters; only a single individual 
was sighted in the batch which repeatedly fanned out I'dng 
feathers. Back to library the following dsy, the 'Handbook 
of.*,,.^ was consulted. Field observations paralleled the 
most vrith lesser Grey Shrike (hC-3) . The status of LGS is 
not well established. This, perhaos, prompted Mr. Reeves 
and Mr. Lav Kumar Khachar [Ke-wsletter XXl^tJo.2) to 
into the identity of the bird. 


In Punjab, species of the Genera - Gest hia( tree- 

Oreepers), 4nthM (pipits), liirdus( Thrushes) and BT^ioscoms 
^Leaf-warblers) have been the most difficuLt to identify 
in field- Indeed, very interesting species have been 
sighted in surveys, details of vfeLoh are pending publication. 

iBy=g-ia,Mymre_to I-IJ llas Karanth. Mpv^. ^j^^f^, .??.ij!Z:Z!£l , 
Eixs^^i Members of our Sixuironmental Protection &roup, 
Mysore have been conducting a bird survey aroung Mysore, 
Dumng the course of this, we came across Brovmhead ed gulls 
(L|1:l^ bxumiice:^ialTi£)in a large tank, on the south-western 
outskirts of Mysore city. We have observed Ihar^ often from 
March 3th to date. Their numbers have been varying from 
3 to 15, Some of them were in ihoir 'brown headed^ sumroer 
plumage and the others in the winter plumage- We have made 
the identification positively after cLose observations 
revealed characteristic features like the 'mirrored" wings' 


and i-ed bill and feet. .-,. . . -. . 

The othST' birds found in the same tan^ \-je-e' ■ '-- " 

ths Eiver Tern;- P.uHbilled Tern; and other oowon water 
birds likre Stoi-ks, %rets, Horona, Ducks, I'eals, Sand- 
pipers, Stilts, Lapmngs etc, of different specips. 

Since the atiove sighting recoxd of Gulls" eo mx' ±n 

^l^^i^ul^M^f^' '""^*^ "^ -«3^e.Vyou to publish 

fT^-;,°5^*^^ aft6r^_0OT Of tUG MarcH 1 6 thT"S5ri?ttS out- 
side bj the sound of a bird which I oouid not i-emembei- 
ever having heard before; a rather loud, 'atewee, etsweo. 

tfff^^ f^^^f \-^ x°r-?^"^^ ^^^ "^^^^ imagine my delight ' 
-co tind a. bird. which I had never previously seen. High above 

S,!' "^^^"e,l^^^ colourful Bight'^on a bare brsnoh of a 
T^^^L^f f^M^^""?!' '^^^ ^ Chestnut-headed Be^eater(Merops 
v^Jlnr?^nH% "? "T^ aotioablg features were a bri^t 
htld J^ l^ teiv„inating m a dark baad, a chestnut cSloursd 
head, and the absence of any central and projecting tail pina 

Sal flit ^^^ ^J^^ ^ encountered a pair sltting'in a youm 
efib?f^^ ^^^^ distance of about 150 yards from the first ^ 

that time there being three of theip ' ■'^'S. 

eater^i^^-1''^^? ^^^"''■f ''°'^^ ■^°^°^s a Chestnut-headed Bee- 
ea^r-in daaai^bagh, although there are many small green 

out tair^i^^'™^" Oilentalis), the.e also Lmetimef ^V 
out tail pins, nor have I seen any since. 

that tho^r.^f ^^ "^"^^ ^° ^ ^^-^^^ denuded forest area so 
th^ 11V 1^, ^ aje more knowledgeable can perhaos assess 

atti^t.-^. V /^ ^^'^ ^^^^ ^^^"S ^" ^^^ ^^e«-" Suoh an 

tt^but+n ="■*'. °-^°^ ?''^''' <=^" ^"^^y ^1°* easily be fOrgO- 
?e"'fir^t'ocoL\on "^"^" "^-^ '^^ ^°^* ^ ^^^^^^-S as^- 



Stre5.t _^Ma dh£oar fKutG }]-.b]i -aj ) ^.'^^^OjQ: Keference to ITote 
in the Marcii-Apial 1981 iseus of "the JTevrsletter by A,G. 
Sart, R,iP- Haran and JoJin F. Selvan - page 11, 

Migratiasi of White stork (Cioonia Giconia) can 
easily be seen in Auguet, Sept^ber In Kutcli- 

I observed 40 to 50 ^^liite etorks on 15.9.80 at a 
shallow blockish ijater pond. Between Loria - Bhirandiyara 
(Bannl) I again visited this place on 21,9-80 and found 
that the number of t/hite storks had not decreased. About 
50 species of lyligratory Birds vere also seen during these 
two visits • 

£±^■1:^5 Qt tb.O-^a o.knatiei^.JIgria Xc h glvcatch gr i n Sau ra^sj i tra 
i.MonarGha^s!^i;^a_^gtxani ) : Reference to note in the May, 81 
issue of the Uevsletter by Dr-B-M,ParashjDya on page 11- 

I have also seen this bird at Kileshwar {Barda Hills) 
on 25-1. 81 and 26,1.81. It was seen catching winged 
insects near a Mango tree on the bank of a stream. On ' . . 
my visit to Gir Forest I saw a single bird on 1,5.81 at 

SSSXe&se J^^Blx^ JESp.Ulaiioii„of Ifain ltal by-Rip in Chr^nfiT^ 
£ande, Oak Cottage . Ua inj-t^ ^ J^.t?-- In the issue of June/ 
JLLLy* 1930 I read the letter of Akshoba Singjee starting 
that there are a lot of birds in iJainital. I think 
Mr. Singh had misunderGtood my letter because from a long 
time back a lot of changes in the environiaent have taken 
place due to which a lot. of bird species have diminiahed- 

In the issue of Ap^Til , the Editor had Just given a 
suKin^aiy of my article, in whioh I had given a detailed 
account of the birds of Nainital. Hr. Singh had written 
in the June-July issue that in the morning time you could 
see 20-30 different variety of birds. But if you observe 
minutely in the municipal board area or in the surroundings 
of Eainital, you can see a lot more than Mr.Singhs' list- 



ftf S^^r- ^"?^° ^\^ Parasitic bi^dT-ItG^Ual^yl^'' 
Its eggs m the nest of Ashy wren, wartlei-s. 

I EPP^^^'^n? ^^ S"''^" "^^^''^ ^^^ ^ -^" Pomegranate trees. 
LhT f ^ Sparrows on these trees. I ^eraber that 

tvaee last year, x saw a strange phenomenon. AfS^ale 
sparrow ms seen to be feeding an over slaed plal^ivP 
cuclcoo. The cuokoo chlofc mth its brighafcol^r^d 

S'^l"""'^^ T t"^^ ^^^^P^"^ -lightly, Lokel very 
comical. The female sparrow ms oh-uiously a 'foster 

acoSlntf *"* 2'^^1°°- ^ ^^^^ plaintive ouckootad 

^ggr gg po^ti .gnn^ 

in our kitch!^^^ visitor, 'Blue .Ihroaf (BritScus Svecloas) 

patch in th^t-f^?'^^''- ^^^^ ^^'^^ "^^ ^ "^^ '^^'1 ^ ^*e 
and looki 7it ^^ furrounded by blue. It «as .luite active 
It iR ^in^i^ ^ -""""^ "^* ^ distinct vfliitlsh eye brow. 
H!3urop^^^ '''"' "" ''^^"^ "'^ ^^ 'presumably a visitor from 

eveni^^^^^T.^^r? ''^-^^^ ^^ '^^ notioable towards m^ 
hin^ ^^2 1'^^°'' '■^''-^^'^ ^^■^^- 0^^ ^'i^d iti particular 
lanv?l%^P°^*^ °^ ^" electric line near a oan^ regularly 
i? ™^ £°^.^ -^r^y- Recently I had the opport^ty to see 
mot?n.T= ^^ ^°'^ gradually .dth vertiollly ^Ssed 
motionless w.ngs and suddenly pouncing on a mouse irour 

cL'w^^to^^TTan^^^n;?^!" '''''' nying^^away wit. .^^L\"?s 
^so b^eS%^1t^rnr%\rfLThiy SvS°f°,--!- ^- 


Other birda Seen here are Red I'/attled lapmu^, 
Hoopoe, Pied Wa^^tail, Babblers (Oommoa, and Larre Grev) 

pied bush Ghat, Gollared bash ch&t, Indian Wren varbler 
in Its L^'xnter pliuiiage tath lon^ tall, Red starts, Guested 
Skylark, Indian Robin, Black Urongos and otbers. 

Small groen bee eaters -.^Lich were not eeen in winter, 
i]ave sudderaj reappeared in large numberR- 

ex^a^^h^d£4^oxiU.^iiiy,^._Cij^^^ thefirst 

Qp.^': On 3rd Me^roh, 81 at 8.15 am mTa^SmtT^ drawn 
to a bird perching on a small branch of a rnango plant- I 
had nerver Seen. such a bird earlier in Bhnbaneswar, However 
thia bird had similarities with the -white throated Ground 
f^r^^; ^|^^.^,Si±lliia (Latham) as described by Salim All 
(The Booli of Indian Birds, pp 112, Fi^,224) , but differed 
in some respects. The birds head, neclc, throat, sides of 
the head and underparts were yellowish brovni without any 
mrltings. The colour of the abdomen and the tail coverts 

mtn a small bluish ^^iite patch on wlnglets, ThiB could 
be the orange-headed Korth Indian Gitilna, a race that is 
fcnoMi to breed along the Himalayas which s-gread out in 
janter over ^orthem India and down to Srilanl^a (Ali, 1977- 
The Book of Indian Birds pp 112), But still I require 
verification m respect of its identity irom the readers 
oi your i^ewslatter- 

|^li^npt^^La^.^:OiiS: On 22nd I'ebruary, 19B1 i visited 
the Dhakuria Lake, Calcutta, While moving round the scenic 
laJce I happened to observe a small island where more than 
hmdred cormorants were perching on a dead tree, that 
looked vjhite (probably due to the bird excreta). Besides, 
aT the boat club house adjacent to the lake, I was able 
^0 record a few drongos, a pair of gold,m backed wood 
peckers, koels, black headed orioles and others. 

But one thing' appeared to be interesting: almost 
every_orow >;as busy with building its nest. My feeling 
in this regard_.7as that the crows of this area were probably 
nr,^ 1 ^''^^1?^ ^^ building their nests as compared to thd.r 
noraal nesting season ^^ich is from April to June. 



Mu^^Aliatj_AEs^? During an exouz-sioii in (Jaro liills 
CMeghalaya) from 15t3a Juiig 1979 to 22nd Jtme 1979 
I made certain observations on the birds. Since the 
duration of the oscursion was brief, the list of Mrds 
produced beloi/ is dTar from oociplete, 

a'aro Hills are bounded on. the North afld Mes-t by 
^^^ ^^"^^^"^ G-oalpara (Assaip), in the South by the distinct 

?L^^'^ft''^Mi^^-^^^ ^?^^' ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^X^^e district 
.IJ^^^^ (Meghglaya), It lies between 25^9^ and 26^^H 

^o^t^^??^ -d 91^-E aoid covers an area of 5140 sq/mllel 
^^^ r^>. I ^^^^^-""^ covered ^dth dense ti^pical forest 
and mush of this ±orest still i^emains less biotically 
disturbed, ihe region is drained by 5 rivers namely, 
Someswari, Krishna, Bhugai, Hitai and Kalu. a?he raiAfall 
ranges hetveen 100-150 ' ' , Heavy precipitation in summer 
Keeps down tne temperature at 26° ^ 5°C, 

^^ ^l^e ^^llovang birds were observed during the excursion. 

^M^?Sf ^^r ^^^^^^ ^^^ Songrengiri. William t^agar and 
Vacinity of Tura, Their identification is based o5 
Br^alxm Ali^s bool. on Indian BiMB{l972) and Biids of 
™tff >.^r.^^t (1977). 1) Black headed bulbul 2) ILed- 
^ented bulbul 3) Spotted dove 4) Jungle ci^w 5) House 
sparrow 6) Tailor bird 7) Indiai r-lyZ S) mil kyT 

lL^,Tio^o^^^^ ^"^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^rattled Lapmng 11) Imx^trial 
ll^'^^'l^^^^^^^\^ pigeon 15) Barbet {blui throated) 
14 Large ^re^ barbet 15) Might ^ar 16) Spotted Owlet 
kin^^hL Im ^^ Parakeet 18) Palm svaft 19) White breasted 

Rcllot^l^ IV J'^'J ^^^^^^""^ ^' ^^^^ 22) Blue jay or 
Roller 23) Shahin Falcon 24) Black drongo 25) Purple 

ll^l^\lVyii^ 5^^^^ Bee-eater 50) Golden backed wood- 
pecicer :^1 J Yellov fronted pied or Mahratta wood pecker 
52; Rock pigeon 53) Tree pie. 

as ^ell as ominivorus bard. I observed iiiat it feeds on 
MaShT^M?^'^ ^^^ ^-^^ ^^ ^^" chickens. Suddenly on llih 
all^tpri^' 1?°^ across a surprising si^ht. I have al^.ays 
!:ll^tt ^V°^^^^" ^° ^^er froely.Un my compound. There 
has never been any danger to them before- But on 11th 
Hc^rch a crow sitting on a tree captured one ohlck, I 
rushed towards it vri-th a stone in my hand, but It flew " 


away with the chic];:. The nax-l^ day the sazue thing 
happened, So now I keep iihe ohicks in a ca^e- 

Si£^s_of_Prey_o^theJ;fc_rf.d_^ In Collabo- 

ration ^n,th Leslie H ^^o^^^^^^^^^^m^^^^mi. 

■ - _ , Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg 3.nd Berlin 

Aimed tath this l:aok, one ou^ht to be a"ole to identify, 
smftly and painlessly, any bird of prey - except owls-in 
^ny part of the ^orldj ani^ in any kind of plumage - 
juvenile, immaturej male or female. 

^ery sing:le species hag been painted in its vaTious 

plumage-phases, in profile, There are 40 full - page 
plates, some of them shomng as many as 30 illustrations 
of falconidae all in identical side-positions. Opposite 
each plate is a table ^ving the distribution of each 
species, plus accurate raeasiirsnents of the wijig, tail, 
tarsus and the total length ana weight of the bird. This 
table also describes the distribution pattern of the races, 
and often gives extra infonnation about it. Indeed, 
despite its Coffee table ap^eai^ance this is a book for the 
professional ornithologist rather than the casual birder. 
Its usefulness to scientists is increased by the t^n 
texts in Gemaii and ^gLish which are printed side by side. 

The first section of the ^ook consists of several 
keys for i den tifioatl on by sise, colour and shape of 
head, bill, and cla^'js- A second section describes the 

main characteristics of each genus and sub-family, with 
beautiful dramngs of the characteristic head, bill and 
sometimes tarsus of each grouij. 

The author is both the artist and writer. Fired by 
Sir Peter Scotta 'midfova of the I^orld', he detemined 
to do a similar service for the birds of prey. ¥e are told 
by Leslie Brown in his Introduction that he laboured for 
10 years at his task. And, examining the result, ^^e are 
surprxeed that he managed to osomplete it in that time. 
'He has also be^ to special trouble - to ensure accuracy 
in the colour of the eyes, cere and legs - So often among 
the liret characters to strike an observer, but often 
inaccurately described in Guides, and even in handbooks, 
because the original collector did not correctly describe 
them when preparing his specimen'. 


leT^Xt ^f^T."-^ -hoping ti,.t ■tL'author «^lf b. 
re.iarded with a deserved suoceas, and wUi 'find that 
love Bometimes pays divideiids'. 

Si^JasE^ JieijsoB. e. , Mo rton 

Rug BH, i^-fTfiti kahiT- fi. inr 

hfrj 7°°^ ^5 ;^^ Collection and found notliine: like thP 

In the January, 1981 tJswsletter there i^ere twn 

Editor: Zafar Futehally 

Dodda Gubbi Post Via Vidyanagar, Bangalore - 562 134 

Annual SubscripTlon Rs- 15/- 

Cover Pidure : Blacktailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 
Photo by: E. Hanumaniha Rao 





- .-*-, 

Newsletter for 

VOL. XXf NO. 7 JULY, 1981 AND 
VOL. XXI NO. 8 AUG. 1981 

-^ ' > 




MarmfacTurers of: 


■ 1 

H B ¥ S Ij E TO? B R 


Tol, XXL 


July 19aL 


A Close Study of the Spotted Dove by 3, Asbok Emnar^IAa. 

A Pavoiiilte Mango Tree by EunvFai' Suresh Singh. 

Paahan Lake, and Ke>j Additions to the Birds of Poona 

ty Jaej Mundkur. 

Barly arrival ot Common Swallows in Madras by V-Saritharam 
A W^^ Hqvjs Release- 

Christmas Island Prigate Sird Seen in Kamataka 
by Achazya Dwaralcanath , 

Bird Reaction to Light: The other way round, 

by Mosadditiue Umar • 

Coots and Cotton leal in Eerala by T-7. Jose, 
Bird '.hatching Geja-g in ?une by Br. E,S. Bidwe* 
Survey of Pheasants by Kunwar Suresh Singh* 

Ed itoria l 

Mother S.K., SurF"d;c,an ,prj, se . fo . r . bi rdrntc hin^ at ni^l^ t ! 
Mr- K.K- Sarendran h'-'.e offered a fresti piiae ofRsTlOO/- 
for the beat article published in tha Newsletter diiriJig 
1981 on this subject,. Oi'is , ni^tjars, and night horons 
are some of the birds T^^hich could he observed. 

R£d-Da±^. Book hv fl'nristnpb Tnhor^r^r^ nf th^ Trit^y-nptj nyj^] 
Qo unoi l tQjcJ ^XTd. i^xesej-yEJ^iog: We all know now that 
protection of habitat ia the key to the protection of 
apeciea. Thus, oon-servation activities are inoreaaingly 
directed towards projects dealiiig with whole habitats, 
eoosystisQS or entire geographical re^ons- In shiftily 
the anphasis a'vra.y fr^om apecles, however, we must ensure 
that the problan of the individual endangered species is 
not pushed too much into the background. There are good 
reasons -^y species orj.entecl projects should be pursued 
as readily as habitat projects. 

Many vertebrates, especially birds ^ are escella^t 
indicators of the status of our environmait. In many 
instances man has, in fact, become a-i.jare of fundamaital 
environmental problems {e.g. pesticide contamination) 
through the study of a declining bird population. 
Equally^ it is through the implaiientation of a conserva- 
tion project for an individual speciea that many fine 
habitats have become reserves ths.t are not only of benefit 
to the particular species but to a whole community of 
plants and aniroarifi (e.g. Tiger reserves in India)- 
Species and habitats are of oourae inseparable- However, 
those who are raising the ^tiormoua funds required for 
conservation have learnt that the plight of ind4vidual 
species ia still the best -way of attracting people's 
attention and increasing their avrareness of the need for 

For this reason we must continue to give great importance 
to the monitoring of species and the initiation of projects 
on rare and endangered forms- The compilation of the Ked 
Data Book is, and vjill renain, a high priority task for 
IGBP< It is therefore mth satisfaction that we can 
report on two important developments in this respect 
during the past two months. 


Early in May the Snithsoni^.n Institution ..rese published 
a paperback version of the Bird Rod, Data under the title 
Sndangersd Birds of the World- l^he book ^vas oompiled 
by Vfarren King on behalf of ICBP and lUCFj and first 
published in a rather expensive loose leaf form t-riO years 
ago. The new low-cost edition mil, we hope, greatly 
increase the circulation of this important documait and 
stimiilate the reporting of up^to-date infoimation- 

rT esting_ o f Caspia n 'i'_emg i Omis^Fennica is published 
quarterly by the l^inziish Ornithological Society. Volume 
56, ^10,4 of i960 contaltas an article by Goran Bergmsn 
on Single Breeding versus Golonial Breeding in the Caspian 
Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), the Common Tem (Stems hirundo) 
and the Arctic Tern (sterna paradisaea). The discussion 
is of some interest from our point of view, for we have 
several species of herons^ for example, "which breed in 
colonies, but ^^hich occasionally breed individually or 
not tnth their conspecifics but with members of the same 

'Gaspian Terns prefer anal. , lowj flat, n cky or gravel 

islets without traes or bushes in most cases less than 
tir^o hectors :n arm situated in a ph' sio gramically 
marine landscape^ . Apparently, the first Gaspiaja Terns 
arriving in the Baltic wore single pairs, rjot finding 
colonies of their oi-jn species they integrated vath 
colonies cf other larids (^,ulls and Terns,, The advan- 
1:age of breeding in, or close to, a colony of other birds 
is that th^ can 'utilise tHe reacti'^ns of other birds 
for information osx the situaticK in the surr-cundings and 
the shelter offered bj' the' colony against predators'. 

H_e.w. B reed i n^^.Groin ds f or_J? lami_ng:p5 ^(_'F^iOm±s^l]y t eruB roaena) ; 
Ever since Plainingos vere discovered nesting in the Rann of 
Kutch It was believed that there -was no other nesting 
ground of the birds in India, and perhaps this was so all 
along. But now the birds appear to have decided that it 
Is not good policy to have all their eggs in one basket. 
Mr, P.S. Thakker has recsntLy discovered a new breeding 
ground in the Thol Lake ^^ich is 50 kra from Ahmedabad, 
According to him there were over 5000 Tlamingos together 
mth other -prater birds, n^hey discovered about 70 nests 
of Plamiiigos, and young birds were also present. This 


^ nevrs ^^-aa -Jolecast by Door Darshan on 21st June, 
Mr. Thaller and l-L^ fz-ien<is ^.ji.ll imdoubtedly Vee" a close 
wa^ch on this nev Plajcingo oolony and future reports will 
be awaited id.tli g:reat in-f^erast- 

StU^i^ J,n_fc2i.^Tii^r_.Des ert s Itidra Kumar Sharma continues 
I^s energetic studies in the Q^har Desert and has collected 
valuable iniormaxion on the vegetation and animal, life. 
He has att^pted to list bird species according to the 
Jaabitat, This is difficult business for one kind of 
haoitat merges into the other, and v^ere does one draw 
the line. HovjeT-er, this is t^at Shanna reports; 

£^idjL_3cinib: Little dove, ring dove, spotted owlet, 
whi„e cheeked bulbul, red vented bulbul, conmion babbler, 
grey shnke, purple sunbirds, green bee-eater, black- 
bellied finchlark, Indian robin, Indian wren warbler, 
great Indian bustard, grey partridge, rfiite throated 
munia, pied chat, desert chat, ashy wr©i warbler, blaok- 
winged Knte, and houhara bustard, 

Seekz^^ope! Doves, babblers, bulbuls snd swallows 

are listed, but mthout an indication of the species 
this IS pointless. The other birds i^i this Biotope are; 
Grey partridge, Indian robin, grey shrike, house stTift, 
black bellied finchlark, white throated munia, yellow 
throated sparro^.-, spotted owlet, ^reen bee-eater, Indian 
wren wsrbler, rufoustailed :Cinchlark, Indian night iar, 
common aandgrousc, and inperial sand^rouse- 

|[^ln_£o^s_and_La.vgs; little ringed 'clover, redifattled 
lapmng, Indian moorhen, purple moorhen, spottai sand 
piper, common Send piper, spoon bill, >^te ibis, little 
comorant, painted stork, saras crane, bar headed goose, 
comb duck, white eyed pochard, pintail, blue-winged teal, 
gaOwal tuffed pochard and blackwinged stilt. 

^ , ri P ulluraJ^Eg,^^ ! Blu»^rock pigeon, house sparrow, 
house orotr, jungle crow, j un^ e babhler, common babbler, 
white-backed vulture, seavan^er vulture, rose-ringed 
parakeet, green bee-eater, crimson breasted barb-^t, 
peat homed owl, rosy pastor, peafowl- ^^g^nas and doves 
have also been listed, 

Shanna says that the Indian courser and Desert courser 
are confined to few very arid clay soil bio-tope and 

scanty scrub couri'iiry. They are greatly disturbed "by 
cattle and he suggei3ts that thsss ar^as be made into 
sanctuaries, Shama also says that both the common and 
imperial Band grouss are poached hy hunters around tanlcs 
in the desert and these areas need much more portectiona 

O f Drongos : The change in the scientific names of birds 
causes confusion and the second addition of Indian Hill 
Birde published in 1979 carries the old nanies of Drongos- 
^i'or example, Dissamurus paradiseus instead of the^^-evj-er 
version Dicrurus paradiseus for the G-reater Racket-Tailed 
Brongo, However, now all the eight species of Brongos 
found in India have been placed in the I'aaiily Dicruridaej 
and I find that syx of them are found in the Weetem Ghats* 
These areE The G-rey drongo, the black drongo, the bronsed 
drongo, the white bellied drongo , the rack et- tail ed drongo , 
and the hair crested drongo. Has any one seen all or moet 
of these in the same area ? 

A -C l_Qse st ud y of , the Sijott ed Doy_e__b^_S^_Ashok Kumariil^a . , 
Hj^Q-.lh_-'lr2Q i73 , ,_} i.u3iiaz unJjagar . Eyd _erab^ £7. ^0a_0£_8 s Por 
nearly a week, a spotted dove ha'a been frequetting our 
backyard garden, -"erandah and neighbour's terrace and 
krukrooling - ob^ri.ously making a vocal proclamation 
announcing its territory. This became clear -^iien I 
noticed a pair of spotted doves in our nexghbour^s 

On January 5rdj a male dove appeared in the verandah 

and after conducting a survey of the area for a convenient 

Bite for nesting, vocalised for some time* It reappeared 
on Sth mth its mats and made a joint survey of the versndah 
roof and stayed till noon. They returned tvio days later 
carrying tmgs and depositing them on the top of the fifth 
floor at the extreme aid of the verandah, \vhile the 
fanale bird busied itself In tidying the site and spread- 
ing the t-wigs, the male rested on the rafter, An hour 
later, they were sitting OBit on the parapet i-^ali huddled 
together in view of the incltanent weather. Puffing up 
their bodies, they T'^ere prceiiing and g'emtly rubbing each 
other^s beak. Before departing with its mate, the female 
visited the nest and gave final touches to it ► 

The nex-t day momirLg 1 -rtoticed both the birds in thas 
nest and soon af-^er they left, I checked the nest snd 
xound one egg. The socond day I found the seoond agg 
in the nsGt. The incubation period actually oommenced 
Ijon^ Januazy 15th, and both tha birds shsred the duties 
oi guaraing and incubating' sateniativeLy. During the 
nx^^hts, I fouiid onlv the maze bi^-d in the nest. 

Shape, colour and Oval, shell-white and two 

numbers ., numbers. 

Heasuremeats ,. Length; 2.5 cmis Breadthfl,5 cms 

Position of the First egg l^g-Stf with tapening 

sg^s ,, and facing ITE. 

Second egg 1-W with tapering end 

facing ^st. 

^^iS^"^ ■ -- :H'irBt eggs 4-89 grams 

Second egg; 4-94 grama, 

!Dhe change over of duties is preceded by vocalisation - 
wxth courteous bomng. The momott the reliever bird 
lands on the parapet wall, the bird in the nest gets 
alerted and cocks its head mth an air of ei^pectancy- 
^he relieved bird flies direct to the parapet wall, 
stretches its mngs and legs and after preening for 
some time takes to mng. The bird in the nest occasionallv 
changes its position, 

With a view to verify ijhether the eggs are turned over 
during the incubation period, 1 had o^rked dots and + mark 
on both the eggs. Two days later I found both the eggs ■ 
in the secje position oonfiiming that they are not tunied 
^^^t.^ either of the birds. The eggs were actually 
hatched on ihe 14th day alter laying- The nest is generally 
itept neat end the shell piecea are discarded at a far off 

Q hioks : 

Sixth day; Byes closed. Body covered with light 

bromi and pale ^diite feathers. 

Seventh day sl^l eedle-like pale white feathers on the 
back, vdngsj tail, neck? breast and 

Beak rfiteel grey. 

Stomach :Pale criiESon red 


Tarsus . hind 


Ninth day 

; V/ings 




;Pirst chick 
Second chicks 

Legs ;Po.le crimson red 

, inner, middle and, outer toes well 

Feathers ^PriiLiG^iiea ,- outer and inner 

secondEiries , leSGer ^ znedian, 
grea'ter and primary "idng coverts 
devslopsd, Va""i£ not yet devaLoped, 
Quill and rachis steel grey in 
colour* Pale-white needle-like 
feathers all over the body. 

Tail 1^ casm 

Le^s 4 oma- 

46 grams 
47 grams 

Vane of primary. Inner snd outer 
secondajjy feathers , lesser, median 
greater and prLmary vnng coverts 
developed- Vane oi the feathers 
or. the back and rump also developed 
The doim feathers covering the 
ar-domen and throat are extremely 
scft avid fluffy- Fealhers "brown 
in colour. Length of vane of tail 
and outer s oondaries: 1^ cms, 

Fourteenth daysleiigtb of t^l -feathers: 4 cms. 

It is fascinating to tm.tch the "birds comni' aicating lath 
each other hy repeated alternate calls, ^=d to see the 
adult birds fondling the chicks by preening their hreast 
and neck and covering them under their belly. The feed- 
ing of chicks by a process of regurgitation commeiced 
from the third day and the frequtncy increased from the 
eighth day. Both the birds make calls near the nest to 
announce their arrival- 

Feeding: The chicks Stretch their necks and extend 
their beaks to reach the adult bird's 
beak> The adult bird inserts its upper 
mandible into the mouth of the chick 

and by a repeated process of bending 
an'd raising the neck and breast, brings 
the sensi-digested food - white jelly- 
like semi-substsnc e into its mouth and 
lets it into the qullet of the chick, 
tJhile the adult bird is feeding one? 
the other ohick inserts its beak from 
the side to draw its food, Feeding takes 
place in a standing position- 


I had oocasio"! to :,-atch tli-; female dove rusliLng to the 
neat to eject ar -l--i^-<Ta6J-'nr; n^a].:; apaiTOij, Ttjo minutes 
later, tiie sparrO'; returnee! lath ttro others to launch 
an attack. The lomrJ-s dove Tinoly stood guard and , 
repulsed the attac^^ vhlch lasted f o r nearly :five minutes. 

The chicks, already fourteen d5.yB old, looked pretty with 
pale-vrhite forehead, steel grey "beak, brotm feathers and 
pale-vrhite fluffy dovm feathers. They perched on l^e 
rafter, preening, stretching their -vdnga and legs and 
bomng- Having "become suff icie^_tly holdj the^' started 
probing, surveying- and exploring their surroundings and 
indulging in niake-believe take ofts. 

On the 17th day (February 12th) the male dove made a 
courtesy call and soon disappeared i^ile the female bird" 
repeatedly vocalised. The ne^t day the iBale dove appotired 
and started courting by gently rubbing its back -with that 
of its niate- I no-i:iced intense activity in both the birds 
which flev from ono end of the verandah to the other, 
traversed the entire length of the raXter, somet.iTnotr to- 
gether and sometimes by turns and. frequently indulged in 
vocalisation. It -[^as evident that they were surveying 
the verandah for a possible nesting site for raising the 
next brood, Everj^ time after making a rapid aerial 
survey, they returned to the top of the Second pillar which 

I guessed "woiild be the second nesting site. 

The nsKt day i.e, , i^cbruaryl^thj the male dove joined its 
partner at the nei-r site anti after vocalisation started 
courting. l/hile the i::aLe i^JsduXged in affectionate peckingj 
the female lay crouched to the ground with its uin;^ tips 
and tail shiverinr-?;. After a hile, the male dove proceeded 
to the old nest, x'ed the chicks and rejoined the fanale 
to renew courting," Then it flew to the lA em tree and 
returned at 9-11 a. in,, with a ti-ag- The^ female got busy 
with nest building for raising the next brood. When the 
male hands over the tid-g, the fanale takes it directly in 
its beak, deposits and adjusts by baiding the odd-shaped 
twigs. In 1 hr and 30 mts , , the male bird made 23 sorties 
carrying twigs with intervals of 6, 7 and 8 minutes respec- 
tively. The female bird was busy picking the extended 
ends of the twigs, bending them and adjusting as fencing 
to prevent chicks from falling. Once or tirice the Male 
assisted the female in adjusting the twigs. After feeding 
the chickSt it resumed twig trai^i sport at ion at 11-40 ■ a ,m > , 
and by 12^50 p,m-, it made 29 trips 'id-th an interval of 

II minutes. 


In the after, noon when tlis chicks mdo -^i.loratory trips, 

pnn. f?f-^ i°5?*'l'^^-°'- ^^^ ""^e ^^-'■^ f ^ tUs chicks ind 
soon after tioth the adult birde depei-ted. The female bird 

n"^"^''^^^ 5*^ evening, fed the chicks and flew a^- 

f^L^i- *^^ ^'^"^^ " "^^^ ^"^"^^^ °^ ^^^ ^"° '"^^^ experimental 
?+ f„ +r ^°°\=f"S'aom. I caught it quickly and replaced 
It xn the neet but lat^.r it flew to the Hean tree. 
the tr^! sufficiently dark, it could not he retrieved from 

On 14th momittg the female lanaed followed by the male and 
soon courting commenced. After some time the male bir<i 
Afi-l^^^ ?^^ ^?rS^ "^"'^ ''^^ straight to the new nest, 
b^sl^rt ft=^f ^ ^°'' ^ ^"""P^^ °^ minutes, ths female dove 
1,^+^^ -*!^V^ completing the new nest. Every time it 

b^ l^^.rf ^^' f ^^^?P^^ *™^S^' *-^ second chick has 
LT^^T f ^? "^f-"^ ^^^ ^^^- Finding the new nest cosy 
and comfortable, the second chick resolved to stay put. 
ihe male resumed t'.ri.g transportation at a-47 a.m., and 

completed. The second chick was not found in th9 evening 
and obviously it had left to explore the new »rld outside. 

-hi ^f?^ ^^'■' """'^S 1 found sa egg -iii fhs new nest ^ile 
uiie old one ves empty and a,bsndonad. The femalS dove 
visited the old iiest and fiiiding it jipty turned back 

about their chores i«.th oy■^lic rhythm to .-aise the ne:Et 
brood unnLindful of my prying' eyes. ™e ne:^t 

4_S:^vmixit^Mm£e. j;'-?:S£_bz.-KJiSiS£„Surs^l_Sia^j 

^,'^^?\^^.-^°?^'^^ °^ a la^Se campus of the Institute, 
s.veml hundred acres in area in laatnagar, T*ich is a 
suburb of Bareilly (u.P.). There are St^siTe arels 
under the various field crops and there are a large number 
of big avenue trees along the reads. Since the birds are 

duvi^ f^f^ °" "^^ ^^P'^'^' Pl^-^y Of bird life is seen 
during all the Seasons of the year. The house itself has 
a compound aoout 100 m x 15O m mth a large number of big 

oDd L^ ^'"^^?^ I "'^S" ^^^^"- ^« °^ ■'^he%e are rather 
otL^l +v about 20-25 m tall, one on the left and the 
o-cher on the ixghT side in front of the house. They are 
very similar m character and possess many dead aid dyine 
branches. Tho,^h various birds perch on both thftrees 


the one on the le'-L-j seem? to "be f&voure^i for nesting 
and not the otii -l.- one, though to my eyes both look equally 
suitable. Duiln^; the last suaiuer months I found the 
follovang blTde- iistr':i:ag on it simultaneously: On a side 
branch vMoh had brol^en off st about 2 m height, aid iv^as 
partly decayed^ a pair of Crlmsoiibreasted Barbet, 
l^/r^aJr.Sai-hg^ ^ag. ephsJ^ had excavated a hole on the undei^ 
side facing South, They raised a fain.ily of 3 chicks 
which left the nest after some time- At this time the 
parents were again taking interest in the next ^■±^n theff 
were dispossessed bv a pair of large G-reen Barbeta^ 
MtEevlanioa . ■J?hosB birds » however, excavated another 
hole some 5 cm a^^y from the older one and successfully 
raised a family of at least 2 chicks. In both the cases 
both the parents -ij'^re feeding the chicks and spending 
considerable time idthin the nest. VJhen living the nest 
they often had some substance in their beaks viiich I 
presumed to be the faecal pellets of the chit^ks , ^^hich 
were always carried avjay till the birds were out of sight. 
I noticed one largo G-resti Barbet had the naked skin around 
the eyes a little brighter and redder than the other and 
I presumed thie to be the male. 

On the top of the canopy 5 '"P'airs of Common G-reen Pigeon j 

S^£Qn_o^G^nicQ£tfirus vere trying to nest though at times 
as many as 16-20 used to collect. In the end only 2 
pairs succeeded in completing a nest, some 2 m apart- 
The third pair which was chaSed a^jay built a nest in 
another mango tree about 10 nj away. The courtship waa 
typical of the Family - the male chasing the female from 
one branch to arsother, all the -idrLle cooing and dipping 
the tail at very regular intervals, whJ-Ch I timed to be 
at 1 sec, intervals. It -^^s only the male which indulged 
in this display for considerable periods of time and 
regularly^thou^ on some occasions I saw the: female also 
displaying in a similar fashion but for shorter period- 
of time- The nests were too high up in the tree for me 
to get a close exaiiiination but one morning I did find the 
parts of egg shell underneath thy tree, presumably after 
the chicks had hatched. 

About 2 m away on one side and slightly lower, waa a 
nest of a Black Drongo, p icru ms ad similis , V&ile one 
parent was incubating the other used to perch on a branch 
nearby ready to chase other birds, (I could not distin- 
guish the sexea betvreen these t^^) , The birds jnost often 
chased were Common Pariah Kites and House Crows. The 
moment a kite or a crow wi^n seai approaching' the tree, 


-the drongo i^uld tal^e off 'hile the preda or v;as still 
some distance ai'iay,and hari-y it, The k-.i: es ar.d the croT^ 
very readxly took the hint that tliey ,^ere not -welcome 
a^d would iiamedia-iiaLy sheer off. The scene r^inded rae 
or a Bmall fighter plane tsJting off to intercept the 
approaching eiemy bomber before it arrived at the target 
area • 

On the other Side of the Green Pigeon neats was the neet 

ot a Golden Oriole, 0^21^3 _ori olos . This nest was verv 

w^l made and compared to those of the Oreen Pigeons and 
^he Drongo, was well concealed by mango leaves, The 
Orioles also chased away the House Grow (once 'the female 
va.B on the neSt, it t/as only the male that did the 
Chasing; when it came near the nest or even when it 
alighted on_the ground balow. This the cro^^ frequently 
did as 2 pairs ox g^ows were making a next in the 

Eucalyptus trees vhich were some 10 m a^^y- The cro^^ 
had to alight on the ground to pick up the dead twi-s of 
fi^icalyptus ^ith ^jhlch they were making the nest. Almost 
invariably tbe crows were dive bombed by the Orioles. One 
pair of the crows was redoing an old nest T'tiil e th- other 
^s building a new one. What irith the Drongos and the" 
Orioles ohssing theca, the ..lOws had a ratv^r hard time 
but_they did manage to complete their nests and mise 
their tamilies. ^hese nests were 50 ja- above the (-round, 

Slightly lower down in the mango tree were the f^ neets 
of the Spotted Dove, Streptopellia chlnensieaand one nest 
o. the [led Turtle Dove. S^-.^n^i^^^a^^^ . Between these 
^_pairs of doves tnare >ras much mutual chasing end at 
■cimes a partly completed nest ^-jas ei-^her temporailly taken 
over by another pair or v^£ partly destroyed. However, 
xn the end all the 3 pairs settled down in -^heir own 
neets, each within a few meters ot the others, 

During the months of May atid June while these nesting- 
activities were going on , I had to perforce sit out in 

an,t thn^^? ^s^ausG of the lOE^d Shedding of the electrlci.ty 
binoculars "^^^ interesting hours with a pair of 

During -^his period I dod not ■ Se^e' even a single neSt on 
Ivt ^^^^^^^^SO tree on the right side >^ch was only 
about 20 m away and appeared to be o^ually suitable. 

In the neighbouring compound there was a tall Neem tree 
(.Aa^Oirachta^-lIisaica.) which had died but was still standing. 


At one time vjhen one Banyan tree (F i_Qug b engalgnsi gl 
vjas in fruit neerby I counted as msny as 52 Crimsonbressted 
Barbets resting on liLe leafLeSs dead ITeem tree< At times 
they ^.jould all sally out, singly or in small groupe to 
the Banyan tree for feeding and lifter a lapse of time 
would again return to the Keen tree< 

£a. s}iaLi,, La^_T_,and. ^T ,e>j;_ jLd. , d lt ion s to tlie :Birds o,f ■■■Z o^n3_b^ 

Around 8 kms from Poona Ilea Pashan lake, "built years ago 
by the Eritisli, It is not a veiy large lake nor very 
deep. Tlie lake is fed by a stream from the South in 
addition to a few canals in the monsoon, A broad curved 
mud and stone bund lies to the Sorth, to the right lies 
the overflo-'/j gate £?yGtem- Tvo sides of the lake are 
surrounded by bullrushes and other reeds, There are a 
fair number of resident birds including cootSj purple 
moorhens, egrets, kingfishers ^ and others* 

The lake is a mnter halt for a large numbto? and -variety 
of migrants especially ducks, Ihey include Pintail, 
Spotbill, Shovellerj Common poohard^ "White eyed pochard, 
Tufted ^uck. Cotton Teal, ComLfion tealj IJukta, G ad wall , 
Lesser whistling teal ai^d Garganey teal. Lesser i^istling 
teals were the last to arrive this year and they seemed 
to keep to themselves mixing: only -with the Cotton teals. 
They looked a nervous lot and took off at the fitst sign 
of alarm. Ve -were able to count only seven of than on. 
all occasions. 

On the 50th of November two friends and I went down to 
the lake early in the morning- Ittwas a pleasant morning 
and we saw most of the above mentioned ducks, in addition 
to a pair of Purple Herons, a pair of Grey Herons, a few 
black mnged Stilts, two female llarsh Harriere, which are 
always seen, pheasant tailed Jacanas in their non- 
breeding plumage. Just as wo were packing up to return 
I saw nine large^ light coloured ducks ^eth a contrasting 
black and ifcite mng pattern come in and land frcm the 
North- We were only able to get a quick glimpse of them 
as unfortunately for us the reeds between us were around 
si^ and a half feet tall. So I quickly stripped do>.n to 
ray pants and entered the t^ter with my binoculars held 
above my head, Vfhen 1 reached the end of the barrier the 
water lapped at my ears- They turned out to be the 



Brahminy Duck or Huddy -Shelducli: (Tadoma i^-errueineal bp^ 

In late January, a doaestiG Mallard Gross was contisce.±ed 
bymmbers Of the 'Friends of Animal b ' fio^a 'S tSe duck- 
^!?^^„^^ ^ ^^^- I's l^^sr freed this duck -A P^SL! if 

there, the last time being only a few days ago. It is verv 
omspiouous heoause of its larg. ^i^e ^d di^f^rent ccllu?^ 
^, ?^' -'+ ^^ always seen in the oompany of Spotbin ed 
ducks feut unfortunately unable to fly off wi th th^ So 

tL^ll ^r\'° ""^" "P ™^ =^^"'^^ ™^^^^-- to'^leave^; there 

^s it se^s happy mth'^ftfnev foL frxLde^ """^ "'"'""' 

f?lSldifp^*fn*m^° f"' ^^? ''^^^ ^^^^ ^^ *^^ Glossy Itis 

river Mutl,= ^"^S^''^^'■i^ ^"'^''5' day on a^i island on the 
^e tl-=^^^ l^ ^ ^^°"* ^^''^^ ^5- oollege in the city. We 
oIlittT. i.t' ^' ^^""^ ^^^^S ^^5-"^ly i° ^1^^ company 
ha™ .i™ ^+ +®f"f''-^-^' ^^^^^ ^-^ °^^"tle egrets which 
have now started turning into their breedini orange. 

Si^uVe^vf - ^^-^"■^■^^-^^°..^'^-iHl^«£4^austloa| f o^ 

Of ar^-^aj ^d den?i-^r^"^^+^''^ regular— otes on th/datee 
T r,= = = ana depdri^ure ox the commoti Swallow in Madras 

thin hfsT^'^ '■' ^'*^^^ ^^^^ *^« bipde had ar J^vef^rii er 
s^ + ^f'+T, f ?.''^'=°^'^^^ ^" *^^ 'Hsoidfcook' (Vol.5), *ich 

tte+°'{>,°'t-'^°^''^ ^^'^ 1978-79, 1979-80 and 1980-81 indicate 

on ^::.ti,7a, L,l:iere were some 60-70 birde Tlierp^-f 1- ^t- +-v^1. 
were i-egularly seeti. -j-^^°- inereaiter, th^ 


1.97 9-80 ; The first set of bia^ds ^for ^the year, were seen 
on 4,3.79 near my house at al^out 6,50 a.m. I could see 
about 20-25 bii'ds^ heading south^vard in about 10 minutea- 
On the same d-^y a't Msnali Tank, (15 kms north of Madras) 
at ahout 8-50 a-m., there I'.'ere a good nujnber of these- 
"birds ha-^' insects over tho tank and in addition, a 
few were seen perched on a wire- The next day, I managed 
to see a couple ot birds at G-tdndy Park, They were observed 
In small numbers ai; different parts of the city on 12th, 
Ij^tb, 15th, 19th, 25rd, 27th aiid 28th, Cfn 1st Septsnoer 
about 40-50 birds yere seen at the Adyar "backwaters. After 
this date, they were seen regularly and in good numbers, 

IS^zSL- The earliest sighting for this season was on 2nd 
August 19S0, There was a sln^^le bird that rooming n^r my 
house. On 9th ^nd 10th, there were solos near the Adyar 
river- On 11th, 1 saw about 4 birds near my house. On l6th 
a single bird '■.'as seen at Adyar Estuary and again on 25th 
in fairly good numbers. On 28th, in the same locality', I 
saw a huge concentration of about 5-SOO (if not more) 
Swallows, hav)king insects ahout the place at about 4-^0 ihh. 
But by 6.00 pm . , there were hardly any birds left. Since? 
they -were seen commonly. 

There has, hovrever^ not heen any variations in the dates 
of departure, [i^heir numbers start declining by Harch end 
are scarce ^oy mid-April, In 1978-79, the last birds were 
Seen on 13.4.79. For 1979-80, I saw the last swallows on 
19. 4, SO, on which occasion there were, t^-o birds in flight, 
For 1980-81, tha last birds were seen on 5.5.81^ though 
they were scarce 'by middle ot April- 
It would be interesting to knew frcm readei^ their 
observations on the arrival of the migrant in their area- 

i_JM^_^e3^s_Re3^ea3e ; 
Grf^.e_Stu4;y_iE,, B huta n : 

In continuation of the study undertaken by VTWF'-India to 
ascertain the s-'jatus and b ehaviour of the rare blacknecked 
crane, Mr.Prakash Gola visited Bhutan in February 1981. 
According to the available information, small flocks of 
cranes arrive every year in the Boomthang Valley in mid- 
Hou-ember and depart by mid-Harch, 


bu^s WlJ; r ^ 4,'^^''^^'^""^' grasshoppers, saaii 

sheets nfh t,^^'^'^ aggression a:id otlier iHterestinr 

pS^kf vS?^^''^°^ "anas .ere also obsewed In the 

of PapsS mL^ ^"^' <=ompar^txTely .greater inaccessibility 

vetv^'^cessf^f n-f-"'^"''-^^ Boomthang and Popashika are not 
factors obtSnLii^^?^'^^ ^^"f" Probably due to adTerse 
rate L S.'o'^^^^liS/^-^ S^ "f^^'o^^'n T "^^ mortality 
marsh of the ^r^np'i nh^t^^^^?' . -L-i^e original roosting 


The increase in agricultuisl end horticultural practiceSj 
hotrerer, can adversely effect -th-^ crane habitat. A plan 
to drain thp extef^iive marS}i for aglricultura poses a real 
threat to the crajies^ Tiinter haljitat. The plight of the 
blaoknecked crai^.e tjas brought to the notice of the officials 
concerned sad it ts hoped that this scheme vaDld he either 
modified or ahandoned altogether- Pictures of this rare 
species were also distz^ibuted in Bhutan to msi-re thero avi^re 
of its endangered status. 

One of the rarest aj^iong the 15 crane species, the black- 
necked crane breeds in Ladakh, Tibet and South China and 
migrates to Bhutan and other areas during the muter. 

Co IT eapon d enc e i 

.rlst mae lglan_d F rigatg_Bi yd_s ,eeQ JnK arnat aka^bi^ 
J:g];_^ j:'^a_ D_-['ja r akan a til. Jath- Villa , A:ijarakadu. IId.WEi.-5.7QlOl : 

Today I had th® rare apportunity of seeing a Man O'war Bird, 
the Christmas Island Prigate Bird {Pregata andrewsi Kathswa) 

The bird had struggled to; a Village yesterday and found 
alive by a farmer in his fields in r I'^ounded condition. 
Today Mr,P.G, tTayeJ^, 5r.S-P. Mayak and myself got the bird 
(still alive) and after verifying froi^ A Field Truide to 
the Birds by Roger Tory Peterson, Birds of America, edited 
by T.Gilburt Peterson and Dr.Salim Ali ^ Birds of Travancore 
and Cochin we think it is Bregata andrewsi Mathe-v;s- 

We think it is the first record for Bakshina Xannada 
District and perhaps for Karaataka. 

We are feeding It idth fish, and as I -write this it has 
already gobbled two. We have taJien colour snaps ^ and 
after we get it developed and printed shall round you 
one two iQaps, 

The right shank seems to be slig:htly injured. 

Weight 600 grams 
Wing span about 6' 5" 

We presume it is a female by the colouration, and it fits 
the description given in the books- [The bird died subsequ- 
ently ED. J- 


fcth peat interest, I have been reading in vaiious 
issues o^ the ae-'^letter accounts of the bird mystery 
of Jatmga. In tlis process, I have Isamt tlist this 
phenomenan also occurs in Miaorsm ma some parts of 

able ;o !Lb^"\^" -%" "' ^ '^"""^ ^^^^^ "" ^'^-^ ^-^ ^«^ 
™ = «^ ^0 establish conclusively why certain birds comiDit 

ever n^? .^ that fashion. I do not thini: any one ■ 
ever , nil. After all man csnnot think and see like birds, 
^f ?^^,^*''^ occurence of this phenomenon is so United 
and the place of occurrence so out of the way that any 
systematic research is Here arrLi^e InXces 
Of bird reaction to light, ' '«'^=o 

In my home district Goalnara, and some other parts of t=san 

iToZt^K"^ "^ ^^^'^^ "^^^■'^^'^ ^^-^^ -^^ practised by ' 

protem-hungry villagers, by using artificial light. One 
IS a group effort and the other individual. 

The first, idiich is practised mainly in summer, reauires 

liltST^^^^^^ fishing spear and one raetal plate. The 
shf^P f,^S?''°'"f' 1^ lashed to the prov.- of the boat . 1 

the res? of thr b^^ ^° f ', ^^^^"^ *° ^^^? ^""^ ^^^" ^-^ 
stands th-= ' ^"^ darkness. Uext to the shade 

s^ear Jtb 'P"^"=^? oariying the Multi-headed fishing 
Pulhes ;>» b. r^ long shaft. While one c: ew member^ 
th™T,^f I "-^ ^^^■^ ^ possible iTith a long pole 
tS^ta!^f=t"^ :^?ptation, the "other keeps of hailing 
th« ^In J ^^^ ■''-"''' ^ ^^°"^ ^^ * regular rythm. when 
Sreft^ th ^-he pertOBsj catches a bird, the spean^an 
e^on as ^^^^ ^K^° ^^ ^^ signalling ,,ith his hand. As 
par^vLd H^H ^° IT^^ ' *^^ spea^an impales the 
ofUlf -^--^ ^^^ ^'"'-' soes on as long as the stamittE 

2ll^ =^^v, Pemit. ITot that all the birds fpotted get ^ 

^t list If ? large number is Slaughtered durljig thi night, 
tails 1^1 ='^"? includes lessor and large ..histling ^ 
iin^lk ia™ = = ""J^' ?°''^' Plieasan-^tailed and hvonZ- 
^f+L'^T A l-^^ crakes. As 1 have never hem on t^jese 
firds - ISrft^hf^' ^f l'-\^^-^^ ^i^t paralyses the poo^ 
t^f -„v- ^^Slit, or the beating of the metal elate or 

Is^a^^^^^nlrr '^.T:^' ^^^ "■^^^ '^ ^^^ ^' -P-^A 

rpieoe^of'^h^^^'^'"'-"^i'^'' ^^ practised in mnter, requires 
ho?^^u h + ^S ""^ ^* ™^ ^"^ 3USt below a joint. The 

Ss^e anl"^ ^\ '""^ ^^ ^'^ ^^^ "^^ j°^^-^ ^^ fiUed.ath 
St^ t^^^-''^^'' lEiserted. I'he killer carries the 
lighted torch in one hand and a sUck in the other. He 

18 . 

-fclien alowly and aB -noiseleesly as possible, wallcs Inlo a 
st^ajep and ^^des around. The ducli:s, iilioost all migi-atory^ 
just keep looking a'i the approaching light, and get 
killed bj a blow cf the stic:^. l^hen the operation Itsvolves 
a pair, the other laan uses a throtjing net and captures the 
ducks aiive, JLlie victims are almost all duclcs . 

Ii^ i^y younger daySj I once tried to shoot duok, snipes, 
night herons t in da^rloiess "by ueing a ^-^cell hunting flash 
light. The momsiit the flash light ^js.b switched on, the 
birds took off in alarm and flew a>:ay. But it se^^s the 
d-Ullor snd continuous glot: of petromax and country toroh, 
which do not hare a sharp beain like flash light th-at 
originates suddenly, does not frighten ducks or o'-^ier birds 
Only the birds kno^j why- Boes this have any connection" 
■with the Jatinga my^^tery ? IG.ease coaua^t, osteemed 

goots ar]d_£stt.QrL_tgg;i^.^n_.K.ej:^a h.y, T-J..<^Aq^3' 

I refer to the note, '■Two Additions to the Birds of Kerala^ 

by L.H'anrassivayanf snd P,S. Sivaprasad of Mar-April Issue, 

I have recorded in my childhood notes seeing coots in the 
iDonthB Saptem'oer/October in Tilchur year after year in 
singles and pairs, 

Jluring the last 5 years or so I see a bird new altogether, 
which is the cotton teal. Though very common elsewhere 
I never saw it throughout my oliildhood and boyhood days 
"in Trichur (Kerala). Salim All too says in the Hand Book 
that the bird is- not reported from Kerala (Vol,l. page 191 
line 5)- 

B^^j^d J.^^ tc hln^ GamT^ IjLjPnnj^ XQp?idL^gjgd_by_ Bird, "Latching Club 
Pup . ei by Dr.-P-S, BI^x.^q: 

The Bird Watching Club of Pune decided to hold a camp for 
children of the age group 14-18 years from 27-5»Sl to 
31,5-1981- Though Initially there ^s'as little response, 
later, about 25 people from Pune and outside registered 
themseives for the camp, Re-20/- was the fees for the camp. 

From 27th May to 51st May, 1981 boys and girls were 
trained in the field of bird watching, They were kept 


fully feusy from morning' io .light, Visits to Soological 
department of Poona University and SoologJ-cal Survey of 
India "Vn^ers arranged, Tliere vere dai? y filni and slide 
atLOws ^TTsnged hj tb_e Forsst ]>-jpartiiLont- One slide show 
was conducted by a young Bird i'/atclier^ Mr-ICirati Purandare 
It is vjorth noting that the yoimgest "bird watclier Master 
Tejas G-ole delivered a lecture on bird nests for lialf an 
hour. He also showed his colleation of hlrd feathers, 
On the fifth day all of them were ta]cen to r^ational 
Defence Academy to see peacocks which are not Seen elge 
where XiGS.T Pune- 

It ^iss noted that boys aged 14 - 18 picked up the art 

of bird watching quickly, and showed keeti interest in 

other activities like identification plants, insects 
and aniiQals. 

We have concluded from this camp that such a short csjnp 

■will bring up many bird ^^tchers in future. 

Sur?eX-Of rheasgji ts b y , ^un^ j ^j:; S^? ^gsh Si^ 

There are t^.^ grou::^s of birds in, India which are pursued 
more ■■^ddely and v'gorously for sport ^han others - 
m^hers of Ansorif onues 3tnd 05J_lif oit,-;3s, ^fiiile the 
majority of Anseriformes visit us as vdnter migrants^ 
the C-alliform^s remain as r^sidonts shomni^ only limited 
local migraticei and the lat&c^r are thus vi^nerable during 
the breeding season also. The World Fneasant Association- 
India has been acutely a^'/are of the lack of recent kno-^v^ 
ledge about the status of the Indian pheasai^_ts. The 
information available in literature is very much dated 
and is 110 longer valid except as a matter of reference! 
However, a start has been made and a te^m of the 
Soological Survey of India led by the well-known ornitho- 
logist, Dr.B.S.LaiQba (all tea^n m^bers belonged to WPA-I ) 
spent ahout 40 days working in four valleys of Kashmir 
in April-Hay 19S1 - They logged about 16S man-hours of 
ohservaticm. They conoludel th_at the absolute densities 
of the 5 species that were sought were; Kcfklas 582, 
Himalayan Monal 118, Chukar 104, Snowoock 15 and Western 
Tragopan 0. 


The survey was car^ried out using the usu£a call method 
and also by sighting latsi- In tlae day. Unfortunately 
the party did not have the use of taued racordinirs cf 
all these iDirde to play back, it Is hoped that \-hm 

such recordings are played back, 
be locsted. 

a few 'J}ragopana ivouid 

The a eo end phas^ o^ the survey will be car-.ned out in 
weptembcr-Oc-tobtr 1981 in Jajniau area and a repeat survey 

m KashTiir m 1982 spring. It may be possihle to include 
volunteers for th^ second phase for n^ioh the ^^A-India 
may be contacted, 'ilhe survey was made possible by the 
active GOcpera'tioii of the I^oolo^-ical Survey of India 
and the wildlife De-^artioent of J and K Government. 

Br- Lamba inteads to read the full paper at 'the II 

International Symposium on Pheasants due to be held 

Srine^ar in September 1982. 




Vol. ]ai l-io.8 August 1981 


A "Check list of Birds of Guindy Beer Park" by 

R. SelvakumarT R.Sukumar, V.E'arayanaEwamy and 
S-Titeodore Baakaran. 

C oTT as POD den e g 

S,Ji. Reeves comMmts on ' S^ctraot from a letter by 
Maniader Singh'", 


E ditoria l 

^-Lij^ yAug^ [^aw sget tgi-; The editor tenders his apologises 
foi" the delay in the production of the July avid Aiigust 
issuea. To save "further delay a combiried July-August 
issue is being sent under one cover. 

There is much confusion in -the I^ewsletter office, as i-dll 
be evident from the fact that the July issue was cyclostyled 
on only one side of the paper. There has been a change in 
Secretaries, The prGvious incumbent did not leave a full 
record before departure, and the new one has not yet been 
able to master the situation. The editor has been receiving 
complaijats regarding the non-receipt of IJewsletters by some 
subscribers, and It is hoped that things will be set right 
in a month or tirjo, f'leani^iil e, complaints will be. velcome, 
because that is the only way in \dii ch loistalces -Wi-l-i come to 
the attention of. the editor. 

L_e5SS£_gl orican sigh ted in Ratlam Dis tr ict _ Sa lim Ali : 
According to the Times of India report of August 5th, 
^Dr.SalijD All was delighted when he succeeded in sighting 
a group of Lesser Ploricans near Elngnod about 15 kilo- - 
meters Trom Jaiora in liatlam District'. The editor happened 
to meet Salim Ali after this incider-t and ■i'^s told that g 
local forest officer had managed to tape record the breeding 
calls of these birds. When the tapes vjere played the birds 
leapt up above the grass where they were hidden. As the 
book of Indian Birds says 'The cock's nuptial display consists 
of constantly jumping or springing up above cover of long 
grass or crops, TMa believed to" his presence to 
hens and to warn off idval cocks.' 

IJls_Chil stm_as I_sl a n_d__Prigate_Bjjrd : Acharya Dwaralcanath has 
sent information about a Ghirstmas Island Frigate Bird 
(Prigeta Andrewsi ) -jhich was found at Posar village in 
Dakshina Kannada District of Kamataka, Obviously this 
bird was driven inland by a storm. Attempts were made to 
feed it on fish but it unfortunately died a f ew days later. 
The stuffed bird has been kept at the Easturba Medical 
College, Manipal, and is likely to be transferred to the 
Bombay t^atural Plistory Society, On 5rd August there was 
a press report of another bird of the same species caught 
ali-ve on the sea-shore in Udipi Taluk. 

A specimen of Fxis^rte rainor which ijas found in 19^5 has 
also been kept a-t the Ki^IO Collegep 

If ■ ' ." " "■: . . , 

!Qrou£:ht in Doddagu oji: tfliila we are disti'f?ssed by news 
of floods in seve:i:'al parts of 5'lorth India including 
Rajaathan and iJttar Pradesh vre are facing one cf the 
severest droughts Ih the south interior portion of 
Kamataka , Infaot -we" are in a panic about the ' descending 
level of otir -well ^Jid if' the rains do not come -mthin ' 
the next few days" i^-e may have to migrate elsewhere. 
Unf (3rtunatelyp'-"thi^ ie no^- as easy for humane'as It' is ' 
for birds, ' :■' ^ ■ ■ -"--■■ 

Incidentally, bec^.i^se of the unusual rainfall pattern 
this year in large po-rtions of the country birdwatchers", 
must 'pay a speciel attention to changes in populations ' 
of birds :in regi.ons affected by flood and drought. 

£__Check: List of Bi rd-s. .of . ■ ? , '-4n t^^^ ^e-s:^--^ ark;_^_Ma dr a5_b y 
E_>^glvaJ?:um ar , H -Sui^u mar.i_'^-_ilarava naS^'ia niv , a, Theo dore ' 
B askaran ; 

I ntroducti on; The 500-:aore G-uindy Beer Park, MadraSp is 
a reiTjnant of._GoaBtal scrub jungle of the southern dry 
sone. In addition to the "famed Black Buck and Chital,- -- 
the park offers sanctuary to nuioerous birds. Being a 
typical slice of South Indian scrubby plains, a fairlj 
representative -cross section of the birds of South Indian 
■f^rli^l^ns can- be. seen here, ■ '!Phe myriads of insect's, aquatiC' 
life in the ponds and seasonal seeds and fruits . -that the 
park has ta offer, ^harbour the resideits and attracts 
migrant birds. This sanctuary has reccsitly been elevated 
to the status of a naticoial- park. 

This, check;, list, is based on the observations' of" a~ small, 
band of bird-watchers for, three years (1972-75) and Is 
not at all exhaustive; only confirmed and repeated sitt- 
ings have been included, after crosscheckingp Birds-"- 
observed soaring ovei^head have also beai included (for'- 
ejrample, the White-beHied., Sea Eagle)- 


P pdloig edida e 

!• Jjitiile Grebe or Dabchick 


2, Indian Paddy B±i:d 
3- Indian Reef 'lieron ■ 
4. Wight heron . ■ 

■ A c Q i pit ri da-e 

.,5.. Brahmin^ kite 
'6. Black-'wi;igea kite 

7. _ Shikra 

S,'-; SpaiTOvj-hawk 

9- [Cavny eagle 
10. .White-bellied Sea-eagLe 
lit , Short-toed eagle 
12-' .Booted eagle 
15- ^ack-crested Base 
14, Uorthern G-osha-wk 
15- Kestrel 



CharadTT.i-r1-^._^ _^-" " _'~ 

17 > Eed-wattled lapmng 
18< '"yellotj-wattlel lap-wing 

Eallidae : 

19- ^-WJii,t"e-"breast-ed ^^terhen 

SoglopsQ ida^ 

20, ■ _ Green ehank 

21 < Spo^t^ed sandpiper 

22, Common snine 

23, Little stint 

^ gc.ur vi r B t ri da ^ 

24, Black-winged stilt 


25< Stone CuiiLew -y.7- 

Ooli-ua b ida e. 

26. Spotted dove 

27- Hed turtle dove 

28, Eiog dove 

29* Goou-non green pigeon 

P aitt aclaaQ "' 

'30. Rose-ringed pai^akeet 

^TApul icL^. g 

31. ■ Koel 

52-, Cj^iij^pheasant 

55- Pied^crested cuckoo 

54- Sed-mnged orested cuckoo 

55. OoiDinon Hawk-cttckoQl.or. 

Brain xever Bird 
36, Small-green billed Halkoha 
57- Plaintive Cuckoo 

Ty to nidae 
3S, Earn Owl 

atr igidae 

"^-. Shotted owlet 

40," ""i^llored Scops. Owl ■ 

AEadMa^ . 

41. Palm,_a.^"ft . 

^^b dinida.e 

42. , '^^hite-breast ed Kingfisher 
43- Pied ^Cingfisher 

■44- Black-capped kingfisher 

.45. . Small Blue Kingfisher 


Mgr Q _gidp, 5 

46. Srnall G-re^^ Be'^'eater' 
■47- Blue-tailed Bee-^ter 
48;.- I'H-di-an ■ Roll&r 

S'ou Eidae'" 
49 r Hoopo e 

50, Crimson-lireaBl'ecl Earbet 

P i.cidae 

51. Golden-bscked 1^'oodpscker 

52< Indian Pitta 

A laudidae 

55. Indian Small Slc^aark 

54, Red-winged Bush lark 

55. Black-bellied :Finc}i lark 

OiDQiaQ Swallow 

57. Bay-backed Shrike 

O riolida e 

5S- Golden Oriole 

DicruTa da^ 

59- Black Brongo 

60 . White"bellied drongo 

Artaiiii4 ae 

61. Ashy swallow sbnike 

Sturaid ae 

62- Grey-headed Myna 

63. Indian Myna 

64. Brahminy myna 

65. Jungle myna 

66, Jimgle crow 

67. House crow 

G ajii;[j epha g i d a e 

68. Common miod shrike 

69. Large cuckoo shrike 

70- Black-headed cuckoo shrike 

71- Snail mir^ivet 

Irenid p^ 

72. lora 


75- Red-rented Balbul 

74- White-cheeked Bulbul 

75- Red-whiskered Bulbul 

76. Whlte-browed Bulbtil 

77. Orange-headed 3round thrush 


78. ¥hite-beaded babbler 

79. Yello'.,-eyed Bp.bbler 

ao, I'ickell's Eliie flycatcher 
31. Ked'-breast ed i'lycatcher 

S2- Indian ¥ren Warbler 

85. Greenish V/arbl er 

84. Orphean Warbler 

85. Ashy Kfen Warbler 

f^lgnarc hidg^ 

S6. Paradise I'lycatcher 

87. Tailor bird 


88. Indian Robin 

89. Magpie Robin 

90. Redstart 

91- Pied Bush chat 
92. Collored Bush chat 



93- Leaeer Whit e—t]ar oat 

94- Asian Brown flycatoher 
95* Blue-throated flycatcher 


96. Grey Wagtail 

97. \^-ite Y'agtail 

98. Large Pied Wagtail 

99. Forest Wagtail 

E e Q t a ri ni 1 da e 

101, Purple-rump ed sunbird 
10 21 - TellOT'r-'backed sumtilrd 
105- Purple suiibird 

Pj^ogj idae 

104* House sparro-w 

105. White-tliroated jnunia. 

Dica el.dae 
100* TickeLl^s Flower -Pecker 


Mr_,_ S.,;K.. R oe ve_5 _c_qjim e n tg_ o n 

H anlnder Singh ' 

iBGue or tlie 

to a book entitledj 

Alexander O.Hume- 



tbis extract, in tbe June 


ter, I T,jas intrigued "by the reference 

'Birds in my XndiaJi Garden' by 

Firstly, I do not know of an author of this name who has 
written any hook on Indian Birds, I lender if tbere is 
some confusion hero mth tbe celebrated jUlan Octavian Hume, 
tbe author of 'The Kests end Eggs of Indian Birds' (1889-90)-, 
co-autbor witb Capt,G, H.T.Marshall of 'The aame Birds of 
India, Bumab and Ceylon' (187S-S0), and founder and editor 
of 'Stray Feathers - a Journal of Cmitbology tor India and 
its Dependencies' (1873-99)? Tbis fluiae, howevert did not 
write a book 
bave boasted 

entitled 'Birds in my Indian G-arden^ , and would 
a personal bird checklist far in excess of 87# 

Secondly, there was a book published in i960 mth tbe title 
mentioned by Mr.Maninder Singh, hut tbis was written by 
tbe late Mr. Malcolm MacDcnald , about the birds he saw in 
his Delhi garden, ^en be was SJ-K.High Commissioner in 
India in the late 1950s. Here again, tbe figure of 87 is 
puEsling, for Mr.MacDonald claims in his book (Page 17) 
that be saw 1'5B species at birds in or from his garden. 

Incidentally, in the editorial of the same Issue of the 
Hevsletter, the editor mistakenly refers to Mr-MacDonald' s 
book as ^Birds in a Daibi Garden'. Also when describing . 
his tri-tneseing of the oourtship of Spotted Hunias, th© 


editor e:^presses the belief "Clia-b Mr»MaaDonald slso 

described this courtship iii tlie book in question. To 

be strictly cojrrect, oa Page 20 of his book, Mr , Mac Bon aid 

describes the courtship of the >fliite- throated Hunia- 

I have no doubt, hovrever, that the pre^copulatory satice 

of all the iQembers Of this genus ara much .alike. 

I wonder if Mr<Maninder Singh could throw aome further 
light on the subject* 


-4 -' 


Editor: Zafar Futehall/ 

Dodda Gubbj Post Via Vidyanagar, Bangalore- 562 134 
Annual Subscription Rs. 15/- 
Cover Picujfe : Blacktailed GodwJt (Umosa Hmosa) 

Photo by : £. Hanumantha Rao /^ 



Newsletter for 

VOL. XXI NO. 9 SEPT. 1981 AND 
VOL. XXI NO. 10 OCT. 1981 


A. ^^ ^^ h W_ 



u B w a L E a: t^e a 


Val.XXI K0.9 an-l IC Geptember-Octobgr 1981 

"Editorial - Eeptember-Ootober Fe-^le-tter - tive-^yj on of 
rivei- to- Save the Dipper; Advantage of a large Repertoire 
of Songs; Painted Ztorks', Past icsuas of tJae Mewsletter 

Soine Observations on the Breeding Aetl-vitiee of ifce Indian 

Xoel by 11,0, Patnailt, 

Bar Headed Goose in India by PralcasJb G^ole. 

in unusual nest of the Black Y.Santharam, 

Some interesting observations by ?-3antharam, 

Red-letter Days in Kasaribagh Ijy Ajana. 

Siberian Cranes discovered in Iran and China - i?rom The 
International Oouncil for Bird Pr&f^ervation New-lettor. 


Heete of leaver -Birds en £ei&si'£,p2i ^rlres l^v Ksznala 
venkataramani < - ■-. 

A reply to Lavlinraar KLac^.a- -carding Chasi-njt headed 
bee-eater by P.S» [I?hatL!i:cr, 


S^e - pt^ b.ei:-Cc;tQl q.e;r_ N .ewalgttgT-^ The editor regrets that he 
has to be a.T,vay Irom base a great deal tiithin the next t>o 
iQOJ^ths and so as a raattex- of conireriience the Septembei^ 
OctoheT issue o± the Uevsletter is agaiii a comhiiaed one- 
As a matter of fact I -[-jonder i^ether the trswsletter should 
not be converted into a biffloathly (six issues a- year) < It 
■woiald be more eco]:,onLiGal and perhaps on. that basis the 
subscription of Rs,L5/- ^/lO-jld cover costs vathout too much 
dependence on advertisement revenue. Also 50 days is too 
^mall a period to .:^et In sxid process contributions- It 
would also enable:- t]ie Mitor to pay more attention to 
details- I would vrelcome your reaction to this prpp.osal. 

Siv:ersign__of__ri Yer to saye_ jh g_iy.p^gri The London Tinias of 
24th JanL^ary 1980 refers to B remarkable effort by the 
Severn-Trent Water Authority to divert a river to allow 
officials from the Royal iioci ety for the Protection of 
Birds to construct a special nesting bos on tiie bank. This 
was done because the only kno-^vn nesting site of the Dipper 
in Varmclcshire -w-as liJcely to. be destroyed during reconstru- 
ction work. As "we Jaiow the Dipper is very specific about 
its habitat and lilcss fast running vater and gravel beds. 
To ensure that this particular pair of Dippers continued 
to breed here a nesting bos ot .plywood with an intricate 
drainage system was created- Apparently, this kind of 
experiment has been tried out before vath success in 
Csekoslavakia and let us hope that this effort of R.S.P.E. 
■vri-11 also succeed, '.'''■ 

Anyone whc has seen the Dipper -will appreciate the fuss 

that was tnade over this pair. I forget ^'jhether I Sat7 the 
bird in Sikkim or Kashiair but the t-ay it dips under fast 
flowing streEjns to pick up aquatic insects from the stony 
ground, and holds its own a^-ainst the current, testifies 
to its unusual qualities^ 

Advant3^fi_pf_a^Xa_r^ e Reperto ire of _. songs : I^he Times News 
Service says 'Although it has booi kno^m for csituries that 
some individual birds can sing numerous variatiois on the 
song typical of their species^ only recently have scientists 
put forward explanations of why that znighfc be advanta^^eous • 
l\o-tT, three scientists working in Indiana have analysed the 
behaviour of the red-^vdnged blackbird (A^-elaius phoeniceus) 


and shovii that the =-,ore a bird csa sing tlie larger 

^i}f„l^J^^"^ ^^ =5"- °"^^?^"' ^^^ ^o t^,s aore »ates it can 

attract, ••■■"'*-« pi-ef erence of e i-goale for a male 

^.itft a large terrLtory Is easy enough to understand. The 
sa^e scn.sGtists har^ already shorn that a lavge territory 
provides r^ore food ^d other resources, and that thf hclLr 

?^ ^.V^^ terrrtosry Is more likely to provide assistaiice 
m fBeding the young,' 

■Some of our readers idll know of the stud.ies made by 
Brian iJertrai, on the Hill Myna in Asaam to flrd out if .^ ahility v^s of any ecological significance, 
conclusion "" Bertram ^b not ahle to arrive at any 

Eg2atgd^t2ri£Si 5:hc Southern interior district of Kamataka 
where -we stay suffered a severe drought this year, mi 
the middle of August the isinfaia «al only 242 aiiinetres 
almost half Of what it should be in a no^al y^rf But ' 

Doddaguhbi Tank and to my surprise and delight a group of 
13 Painted Storks (ibis leucocephalus) and 5 &rfy Herons 

Ihn ^f '■''°+'^'^^^^^ °" ^° 1^«' ^^^ -manner I.nvMch 
I Ltc^fl !v"^l^^<=^"5 ^? ^°'^ *^« ^^^^ i^ "-oet amusing. 
t«^«^n^ ^ t"- ^°"S ^^^^ at noon and it «as instru- 
a^ f. ?!, - " "f,^'^^ operated in concert both on land 

SL Si i-^ ^"^^^^.^^^^ *^^ ground but as they ascmded 

^f ^.S^i ii^^^ ^^^ "■?*" °'^ *^-^ flapping .^as'reducedr 
and finally they were able to soar in droles on the^it 

™^ J i thought there was one leader Jio directed thair 

sSt^h^i t^ ^^'^' ^^ ^'^^° ^° ^°11°" ""^^ line oflligh^! 

all.vf i^ ^-r- /-a^^^^i^gly ^"aye a leader, it Kas lot 
a± ijays tae same bird, 

s^J''^ ^oming Of the 30tli August only three Storks were 
seen. The usual group of a doaeti C-rc^i Shanks and a 
large number of Common Sandpiper have arrived 

la^iAssu^s_o£.Jha.Jie«sigiieE; I am ashaioed to admit that 

i^ If T^ ^ -"^^ ^^^ °- ^^^ Hsvraletter before 19777 

Has any reader a complete set from 1959 to 1976^^ If there 
IS a set available, perhaps some energetic reader ivould 

"be mlling to make all indes .of Author JT^d Subject. Onoe 
this is done many other yteps can be talcen. yo coi/Zd, 
for eisianiple, produce boiuid copias of 3 year periods 
each of thess could car-jiy a nev preface 'highlighting the 
more inter-sting faots otiaGrvea during these years- Are 
there any takers :ro^. this effort ?. 

^^mj^-Q.bsar:mM.oas__Ojl.the Breed ing ^GUi i/iti i^f^ of th p Tnf^n^tn 
I^^ ■ £j^dyj^a^Z 3 scolo^ac^ iltitiAasu^ ig^_ah u b an e S war ^ rL. 3_g_a 
^^LJit^i^^atng^j^ Tho male Indiaii Koel is well known for 
its familiar kuco'-kuoo calle , it becomes inoreasin^ly 
noisy with the advance of the hot weather and is one of 
the earliest bird voiceB at da^tn- The breeding of keels 
takes place during A3;aril-Augus "t according to Salim All 
though Laioba reports their breeding front fey to 'J'uly 
beginning a little earlier in Sou-th India and ending- a 
little later in Eorth India- 

In South India, particularly in Kerala,:^ eelakantan reported 
that koels began to sing their ku -vo o ku- ^o calls on 
LeoaQber becoming most vooif eroua in January and continu- 
ing till 3'lay. Obviously it is during these months that 
their calls can be heard snl therefors it zaa^ be presumed 
that breeding activity is confined to this period. While 
acGOuncang the Madhav Gadoid's prLzs in -Jie ITe'^slett er 
Volume 20 Kc,12, 1930 it was indicated that the breec^Jjig 
call of the male koel could be a good in-dicator of a breed- 
ing season, Keepiiig these stat^mtntti in mind an atteTopt 
ivas made to study the breeding activities of koels and to 
watch than during the breeding season in Shubanoswar, Orissa 
during 1981. 

The calls -were mainly recorded at two locations^ one in. 
the heart of the city and the other in tho uestom. corner 
of the cityj The locations were " kilome"reB apart and 
were clad with scattered and fairly thick foliage of mango^ 
3ack fruit, ne^jm, bael j banian and peeppJ trees. In the 
first location tho 'observations ^lere made daily f-cm 06.15 
to 08,15 hours, 12*4? to 14*45 » and 17.15 to 18-15. In 
tho second location the periods -■rere S-30 to 10. 30- 10.^0 
to 12-30 and 15.0G hours to 17-00 hours - 

For every -..j-cek of tho month frcrn February 81 to July^Sl 
a statement ^-ras maintained shewing the number of days on 
which calls wcro recorded, the number of calls recorded 

at various houri? o-2 ths d^y sr.d the -LotaH G^lla racoi-i'^d. 
Detslis ot the iia^jperaturr^ iii(?j.C"-^ing ths is^— ::^\L-:iini and ^he 
mijiimuEi Slid tlie- av^^i'Lvje >ra_s clso kapi: . Ih^:.^^^ the :L'i;i;St'^ 
2 tjeelcs o-£ l^ebz^uai'^ r.o csi.LS -^rera recoiled n In t^i-^ "--"^ 
and 4-th T^^ek3 tiiere vrci-e 139 cells-. In tv,^ laet w^ok^of 
March there ^^^ei^e 537 calls; in -ijhe.las-j week of Ariil 
■there T;ere as meny aE 4-, 309 ca7-.:-S i^jich c^ue do:?ii~to 1,478 
in tlie 4th week cf.I'Iay; 5^ in tha 4th reek cf Jiz^-^ cj-'d 
nil -in the 4th week cif J'xLy 

The records show that the oalis v^v^ fir^^'- hea.-d froii tho 
third -^^-eeic of Pebrusiy ^nd by the B^conC TRek of ['!avf;h 
pair fonnation was noticecl. On U-to occasions on the morning 
of 19 and 21st February' about 14 m^ae t^d 4 female Icoele 
Were seen basking together on a neem ti-ec in the uanath of 
the rising sun- 'Iliis was perhaps due to the eiKitreme foggy 
weather that prevailed during the previous nights and in 
the morning. It is relavent to repor [j heri? that lamba 
suggested that a number of unmatcd males v^o presujuabiy 
Gould not establish a hold over their territoriGS sp-ent 
the time together In a single large tree. But this could 
not explain the above observations because the breeding 
season had not started by then Dnd at least soiae of the 
females were present with the m?l_es. At this time the 
fejnales were observed fcsding on ripened tinda and kanvara 

It I'las noticed th;\t yi the month of April x^hon the average 
tempere-ture ^.-as 50.3 centigrade, the -alls recorded were 
the maximuia, Ihey were even heard before sunrise md after 
sun-set during the twiliglit period. 

The foster parents of koeis.the House ciows began co] lecting 

their nesting from the fii^t weeic of ApTil md 
continued to build their n^ts upto the last veek of Hay. 
Most of the nests L-^ere completed by 10th of >lay, though a 
few crovs continued to build their nests till the 1st week 
of June. There were a few crows which were nesting as ' 
late as the 3rd week of July. 

The date of completion of nests by House cro^^ coincided 

with the peak activity of koels. In otherwords, the 4th 
week of Apill was the period when the koels called the 
most anrl this was also the time when iAie house crows had 
either completed their nests or were on the point of 
completing them. 

The crows took 10-14 days to build their nests and within 
5 to 4 days of conpletion of the nests egg laying commenced. 

This period seemed to be beBt suiteci for -the fen^ale koel 

to lay its eggs inside the foster's nest- Lamba observed 
that tbe female lioeL takes adv&ntage of ^^ery ti^porary 
absence or distraotion oS'.cliowG. "iiba female koels also 
make jse of ber dull oolour to abconpllGb its mission in 
the uncertain gray light of daxci- I agree mt]i Lamba when 
be said that the ms^ie kocl apparen-bly establishes a terri- 
toiy in a promising '::cLtGb of .troes abounding in cro-ws and 
announces it by iti^ lu'sty son£ early in the breeding season. 
In this way presumably the male'koaL invites the female 
to a position of advantage.' 

During May the male &nd female koels were seen, feeding on 
berries of Bremna Hucronata, on riped berries of neem, 
figs of peepal and banian and on ripe papaya- Males also 
fetch berries to feed the females- 

By the 1st week of June most of the nes-^ngs -wore visible 
and house crows were seen feeding the young. During the 
period from 4th to 6tb. June 1981 about 15 nests were 
examinei and it was found that out of the 15 nests only 
10 had eggs or nestlings or both. Out of those 10 nests 
4 had been parasitised by koels. Out of these 4 parasitised 
nests 2 nests had yo'ong koel clrLcks less than a week old, 
one nest having a pair of female koeL chicks approximately 
3 weeks old and the other neat riith 2 eggs of kocl. The 
eggs were easily distinguishable from those of the house 
crows because they were broad at one end and compressed 
towards the other end» In one nest there were 5 juveniles 
which were nalied and indistinguishable, as to species, 
but vjhen I observed these neets on -5-7-81 I found that 
the 5 juveniles were all koels, Two of thean were females 
and 3 were males and thsre were no hoi^e crow nestlings 
at all- I thought that this happened because the female 
koeLs laid their eg-^-s in the nest of the host before the 
foster parents could raise their brood. But this conclu- 
sion differs from that of Laniba who comd not observe any 
koel eggs in a freshly completed crows nest which did not 
contain an egg 'of the owner. 

As a result of observing two particular nests >iiich 
contained either the nestlings of koels or crows, I come 
to the following ccnclusiona: 

1, Koel nestlings along with nestlings of crows became 
fullfledged in 50-32 days. 

2, They raoained inside the nest of the host for 32 to 
41 days, 

3, Outside the nest, they continued to demand food from 

the l^oster parents toT 20-23 days, Dming tliis period 
when the foster parents arrive ^dtb f ocd the young icoels 
emitted cliee-chee sounds in a suppressed manner vMle tlie 
young cro^Hjs uttor^jd a ^iverin^ l::a-ka* 

4. Around residences the food given by the foster oareats 
consisted of kitchen scrapSj and ocoasionaily vjinged 
teiToiteSjvhen the latter cajne up in swarmSe 

^Towards the end Of July and the begimiir.g of August "iuost 
of the young koels -wGre seen alone concealing thsasslves 
behind the foliage of plants, vhereas the young crows 
Tfloved along -^dth their ovjn parents all tho tirue demending 
food from them, 

Alit h QrB_ Addr e sg s Mr-H.P.Patnaik, Department of Sntomologyj 

College of Agriculture, Orissa Univei-sity 
of Agriculture"and Teohnology, Bhuoaneswar 
751003, ORISSA. 

Ilef erences i, 

Lamba, E,3- (19693 : 5}he nidification of some common 

Indian Birds-, j;, Bom^^v nat- Hist, 
3oG,, 66(1}:72-S0, 

Neelakantan, K.E:.[19804: The Breeding of the Indian Koel 

(jiUdy uajay g feCQlop ac^a ) jicKS_le±ter 
tQ.T^±r:dj^±^t^B.. 20(1)^7 

Subrahmanyam, M.V.Y, and R*y-. Krishn^-^cor vhy (1980): 

Physical characterisation of the 
song of the I::oel EutlYnarg y^ sco louaoea 
J- §°i3k^v Tii^M, Uist. Sno* , 77(2' J 

Ear_Hilsde^ C-QQse in India bv p-"nk;:^sTi fiol ^_^p7j K_indh 
IxOiiSin^_Joci^tiLi_Paona__J4l^_^:Xt In ludj^a the Bar-headed 
G-oose is mainly asEOciated -vitli our l&r-^e rivers in the 
north: the GangeSj the Jumns- the Chcijj'.bal and the Erahmaputra 
In ^d.nter they spread mainly in ncrth"C=n iral India becoming 
scarcer toiuards the east and the ^-^est. Thon.r breeding tith- 
in Indian limits triB first reported by Osmaston in 1925 iu 
ladakh at Shushal (present Ohushul), near the salt lake 
Tec Kar and on sn island in the Tso i'loriri. All these 
breeding grounds are situated at a height of approximately 
15000 ft. Outside India this goose breeds in Tibet and 
ill 0©Litral Asia, in the region belonging to the Soviet Union„ 


I was able to risit its breeding grounaa ±a ladakh durine 

^earcli to locate fcio breeding grounds of Blaclmecked OrLe 
I caffle ^crosB a breeding oolony of this goose whicrhit?=rto 
regained unreported. This ■ ..^s aear the south ^d of la£e 
(Tso) honrr. Let me tell you-;ho„ it ms' diso^ered . 

2^^!^ -^'^t -93° °"^ P^^^y" PG'aohed the north and of Tso 
^f nv, 1^"^"^^^^,^ s^all iaLarid In the lake ne.^r the north 
^tU. n^ Sloping sidas Of this island »e sav. toe geeSe 

nesting, 'mere yere about 15 nests mslble. The i-ests 

S^Ld'ob^^f ti °' ^'-'Setation. ILhe graSe^Uke nesting materi- 
al had ob^ously come from the lake itself. Even psira of 

iLT^^i^t^^l^-f f-^ nesting birda showed that only one 
st^ds^^uar^^ ^te female alone inoubates. The other bird 
stands guard near tne nest or svims nearby. The inoubatSru;- 

ot'Ll'ZfJ'^' T'^ °=°^^*:^1^ and goe^ ne^r the e^^"^ 
oi the i^ater to dnnk or feed In the shallows. Oncie vfeen 

aJv b^ it: " i""^^""^ *^^ ^'^^-^ ^^ -'^^ <=^^^^ ^-i' ^^^^ 

?■ ? L .^^^ °^ ^°°^° ^'^ ^ Tibetan common tern. The 
dab^'lin'SlucS! '^^^^ ^" "^^ ^-^^ o^^- upended 'liS^ 

A f e^ days later, crossing the vast cold desert ou^ nartv 

that flows in from the south, meets the lake in many 
-°''?2"^^-. ^^e terrain ±b not marshy but rather it L a - 
Pla.eau ox shingle. It stretches south to a oonsideraWs 
distance and sia.y probably be under v,ater ir the recait 
past aa fhg lalte.ig- gradually shrinking^ 

bv^^\i°°^ ?^ '^*-'' *^^^ ^^'^^ ^^ocks were camping near- 
by. They informed ks that to the soath-oast a largB iilmb^r 

llbf™r-°°^^ "^ ^^"^^ nesting. i;e -.ere also asslre^ 

Car^^-, T^ ^^"■/^/^''^^ ^^ coarse y^lCKgr^ss and 
Oaragana. In a muddy dspresEiioti we observed a pair of 

iT ^S^^. °^^<*s- Eeyond this depression „as a body of 
prater >Aioh «s actually a longlsh am of a sttll M^ 
one to the north, a sizeable lake, a counle ,of miltflT 
cl^fZ ^?,"i*^ an island In th6 caitre. As far as „e 

MoS^ ^. '^^ ''°^ ^PP^^'' ^° ^^ connected to the Tso 
Moriza. Several geoao were seen nesting on the island. 

s?Lfi^^-^°°^^'^ H^\^ Sat-topped pyramid ,dth its 
Bides Sloping dowi to the crater. The" nests were seen on 

-the flat top S.S ijell as on the slopirLg sidos of tf e island. 
At some places they --fgcq packgcL very closiLy end at cthei- 
plaoee tliey woro sc&-fctGred.> I ^iO'Lm'^el -,3 nee';?; oa 'iih e 
sides wliile 20 birde could "be K-'cei incuj-iir^ c»i tae^l'lai; 
top. Tlae nests T.^ei-e not '6t saiy ■v^ig-a^at^-^rL- lodead 
in the moonscape a:^oiuid not f. >3ii-de ^'if gi ,os" coUi i "o^ sgstl 
They were mere scr!i^pe^ in the'eilt "i'.x-r^a -.ri-ki do^;£> .nr nh 
was "banked up against their t.ideE . 

Observations of these nests ?iso sho-'^ea that on].y ons hlri^ 
incubates while the otheii' standi .^UE^rti . ^h^ire .4i- tota= 
squabbling an^d aggr3ssion_to be ser.i bot-.^uec ui-;i'ghbours. 
As observed by Bailey in ■Tibet (1908), some eg^s ^'ere laid 
quite prominently in the open x.^ithout any bird attending 
to them- Some eg^^ had already hatched and egg-shells were 
scattered on the island. Unfortunately T^e laoked any ^i^eans 
ot crossing the lake to reach the island. As such th'^ 
numoer of eggs in each nest could not- fee acamined* 

It seems that the families leave the island as soon as 
B^^B hatch. I sai; only one facjily id th t>.o goslings en 
the island- All the other :fajailies with goslings were in 
the lake, ^lost of these faiuilies had four goslings in tow. 

It ;ias not kno^^n on >ihat tht gosling', were fed^ Th'^ ""ake 
appeared to be ^uite deep and id.thojt ai-j plant iife'/'sut 
the geese were sesi to be vigorously searching for food 
upending themsaLvcs. Apparently insect life should be 
available, A party of adults i-^iich was closely i-^itchsd 
irom a distance of ICO ft. -f^ed on ^all fish and insects 
that v^rere found in the froiSh-water channels. 

Status_ln India; In the last e<aitury many observers 
referred to the abundance of B^r-headed Goose in north 
India in tinter A.HUG}e saw about 10,000 geese in a tai- 
iQilo stretch of river near the confluenoc of the Ohmabal 
and the ^uiona, Uesi) . Eames said that it v^s abundant in 
Sind while S. Jiaker saw huge flocks on all lar^e rivers 
in Bengal- 

However, later obsesrvers did not see them- in such immense 
numbers, ilutscn says in 1954 it was as abundant as the 
(rreylag- !Dhe late Krs.Usha Ganguli mentioaed that thev 
were irregularly sem on the Jumna, the largest party 
seen was that of 29 geese. 

To 'assess the present positiQi of these geese in our 

country, an appeal ';;as made through two well-ioiown bird- 
^ounials. Observers were asked to give infoimation m 


tb.e places and type- of habitat used by' the geeSQ, their 

number, and trhetliei* it is incraaaing' or decreasing, th.a 
probable cauEse of the esrae, their arrival and departure 
dates and their food and other habits. 

Places where Bar-headed congregate Iiave beai reported 
as, Ejlong the Ghf^ztibal riVirfthoLisands ) , in the Ajffier- 
Marvjar area of Kajaathaa (1800^2000), the roservoir at 
Karora ([300} and aii StEh(20-2^)j the Bird Sanctuary at 
Bhtirstpur{200) T the Eultanpur Ziheel(lOC), the Kaairanga -- 
national ?&rk(50) and the G-oalpara district of Assam 
where the ^eese are mostly aee^i along the Brahmaputra- 
Their nximber T according to the correspondents , has remained 
more or less stationeryj or has some-what declined* Hunting, 
encroachrpent of cultivation and settlement on riverine 
islands "vrhere the geese used to find resting and roosting 
plaoes and Increased prevalanoe of netting are given as 
probable causes of their decline* 

Their usual habitat remains that of large rivers and 
reservoirs. They are secai to associate mth otbor ducks 
and gecso though a party of Bar-hcade usually keeps to 
itself* Iheir food in tnmt er is given as paddy and wheat 
shoots, Ghana and barley leaves and some pulses. They 
are accused of sgm.e .damage to "friinter Crops, 

Their arrival is said generally to coincide with the 
Bi-wali festival and most leve by late March though a few 
could still be seen in mid-A.pril, ■- ' "■ 

gne observer has descirlbed their winter routine* 'At night 
they rest on open sand-bars and in -wat^s on sand-bars where 
they can have a clear sky-line to show any approaching 
predator. They fly out at dav.n to where they find s;iiitable 
vegetaticn. At about 11 am they ily back to isolated Ohur 
(river islands) areas, beaches or sand'-hars whero:the 
ourroit is fast, take bath and go to sleep. It is then 
that they are most vulnerable to hunters^ as they hate to. 
leave the cool and fall to the approaching guns. If 
^indisturhed the siesta continues upto 2 pm t&en they fly 
out a^ain in search of food,' 

Status o utside _I n dj-a : The Soviet authors Gladkov and 
Dement 'ev ssy that though it was once fairly common, in 
recent years it has suffered a great decline in their area, 
ITo information has Gome out of ^ibet- But Pr. Ripley >±lo 
visited Lhasa in 1980 saw no geasg and according to him 
hunting pressure there should be very great. The Ear- 


headed Gooss thus apps?,i-s -to hav^ declined greatly in a 
major part of ita. "bi^oQcu^- r^ige. ■ 

Breedln^^ coloriiee in Ladaich do not appear to ba enact'"-'-' - 

though the cGlony at Ghushal has cer.ael to ■^yi^t. The" 
Bar-headed ^oosg ? to -'^ai in a tmli^ht sone: 
■whether it mil li-jft itself to Vac suiiGhine cf .■^-rQix^-eT 
security or 50 do^r^ the shynz 0:? noi;-exi^tc:ice,"dei: tr-ds 
largely on how Indis decides to manage li^::r -wetlands pjid 
her great rivers. 

a t _^giiha,|]^-_X,_^^].^ram.^_lQ Jj^tii_C^ 

MMra£_:_500_028; On a recent viEit to my native place - 
Cochin, 1 happened to notice a nest of a Black hittem on 
a tree in a friend's garden. The nest vjas at a hei'^ht of 
about_30 feet fro!]i.the gromid, well concealed and made out 
ox t-^agB , etc. I„ had- the appearance of a croT-r^a neet and 
in fact, vre would have passed it off as a croTj'e nest if 
we had.not seen the parent bird in the nest wLth its out- 
stretched neck shearing the yellomeh pattern on the throat 
and underparts. Looking through the binoooLars and care- 
fully, I noticed some movements in the nest (the t^sdgs 
were sonLewhat loosely placed) and to my delight, i^je saw 
some chicks (2 ot 5) moving about* At times, thqy- p'^orcd 
down at us aiid we saw that they had some creamish- white 
dot/n feathers (sts:iiding out like hristles of a hrush) < 
They vrere so much ujilike their parent which wa& hromish 
black (perhaps the female-) and slaty grey mth yoLlowLsh 
maikings on the undersides, Alsc it remained njotLonless 
on seeing us vlth its neck outstretched. The chicks wero 
at tLzacs seen begging for food by making some mov^aoenta 
to thoir aotionl.css parent* 

1 wrote to Professor X^K J^'eelakantan on the sighting and 
here is what he says; 

'I am glad to hear that you were fortunate oiough to 

find an occupied neSt of the the Black Bittern in a ratheor 
unusual setting, 

'Birds Of EicraLa' (Page 55) has only -fois to say on 
the breeding of the Black Bittern;- 

'Recorded at Kavasseri 'in Malabar district (IT'^QLa- 
kant3n.l956, JH^THQ 53i 704--6) and doubtless also breeds 
elsc-i^erc in Kcrela. Season - May/Juno. ITest - a cad of 
mati.ed weeds, etc, placed up In tangled reeds, a cane 


/L^''^f??^^'^^^^^^^' °^ bariboo dump in a n^arsh 3 to 5 ft 

^yu - 150 cm) EbDye the ^^round^ - 

^r. cn"^^ '^^^ 'Omitliology of Travancore md GocMji {JB^ths 
^yi^yij it la said 'ilo i-eoordG of its nidificatian in 
iravsncore-ojc CocMn aJ?a availa"ble'. 

Gould the pair; whose nest you sa-^, have laid eg^s 
m a desorted ci-ot/^ s (or some other bird^s) nesf^ I have 
seen Duxto a few nosts of 31ack Bitteni ir. Kavasseri, but 
every oqc of then -.!B.b in a pandanus bi-ake on the hank of 
a laver. iTo nesi: vas more than 7 feot above the grouiifi 
and almost all were mado'cf creeper atOTS- candainus leavoa 
and roots^ . . - 

As Professor ITcoLakantan has rightly pointed out, tho 
bitteni seensa-to have neated in a deserted oroj.js' nest. 
■^ s:Lghting of the nest T,.ias in Coohla City on 22nd May 
1981, Unlike the n^^ats observed by Professor IJeelakantan 
and Dr-balim Ali ^ this nest t'as placed at a greater hei^hf 
ar-d made up of twigs (as far as- I could aee) . It ^^-as aW 
xrom any river or back^^atera and'^^s on a tree xight in 
front of a house, (There were 1-2 dried un ponds nearby- 
thcugh). As X had veiy little tiiue at my disposal and had 
to return^ I coiild not continuQ my observations on'-this 
UiiuBual nost ■ 

I am vely grateful to. Professor Neelakantaci for his 

valuable coia^aaita on .this subjoct, 

^gSS_J.ntereBtin g_0'b eerva tlOjng ; 

1. Booted_^^.lg_.C-^.eraaet-L\a penfx . atus ) In 1Xp_£;jJj_^^,t_hTgrion 
IlXGticora_iXn:^ti..(;oi:axi; Daring a -/isit to the !IeLla- 
?f:^^'^i ^-^^^^ Eiane-uary in !Jellore diatrict, -;vndhra Pradesh, 
tlOO ,-ms north of Ll^.dras j on. 15^2. 81, I hannened to witness 
an exciting sequeaee of a night heron bein^ attacked, killed 
and eatsL by a Boot^ hawk-Efegle- 

At about IC ,35 Bja, 1 aaw a booted eagle (in light phase) 
aoarinfi' abovg the tank that constituted a Dixed pelioanry, 
whxle the nesting- i/:atQrbirds - Grey Pelicans, otiertbill 
stori^si white ibia, grey heron, cormorants, littl o 3^rets, 
^x^ht hc-rons and other species tjcre peacefully cari^^in^ on 
tneir doiaestic chores. All of a sudden, the eagle dived 
steeply from a height ef about 50'6lD ft, almoat vertically. 
Within a split Second, evai before I could lower down my 
binoculars to see what ras the ouarry, the victim, ms 


secured. The raptor vjas oti the siaall strip of islet firmly 
clutclring with its -balons a Ijii-d (tjhich vja^ later confimed 
as an adult night heron) by Its neck. The impact of the 
attaoln had overturr^od tho unsuspecting' heron, which was 
prohatiy injured or ^_.:^roseed in collecting aomo food for 
its yo'-jii^ ones in a ncj^^irby Barrin^^tonia and it lay on its 
bacli shOT-ang th^ .^jreyish -v^iito imderparts, The eagle had 
ita. Td-^L^T spread out and remained still without any mov^^nent. 

By -tbie -time, .^1 the birda in the neighbourhood took 
and circled, as if in protest, over the predator and the 
prey. But the raptor remained still aid Goon the birds gave 
up and settled doici, One-or t'r^o crows also Joined in. But 
evm they gave up soon. I ran to the othor part of tho 
hynd, where ray campanion Sbri V.J, Eajan' I'jas. observing 
birds and soon vo returned to the spot to "watoh furthGr 
developments. By this time, the eagle had folded hack its 
wings fjid tho prey ijas also turned so that the black back 
was visible. 

At about 10.45 am, the eagle plucked off a few feathers 

from the throat but did not feed. Still the prey was held 
fiimly (perhaps in order to strangle it to death). Later 
in the course of the next fifteen minutes, the victim t^s 
dragged by the neck -^th the right foot, 'The eagle hopped 
the distance of a fev feet every time followed by a short 
pause. As tho night heron was a heavy bird, perhaps as 
heavy as the eagle itself, it could not lift it. In this 
manner, the predator had moved some thirty feot from tho 
original spot and placed its victim undor a tree among 
some grass and reeds- At this po.^ticn, it was difficult 
to see the' sean'jigly dead" heron. By 11,00 aja , -^je could see 
the eagle plucking off the feathers snd begin its rather 
early lunch. Till about 11,45^ the bird was very busy 
feeding and later on the observations had to be discontinued, 

l^ho proy of this species is said to consist of mainly small 
mammals and birds, often attacltLng domestic chicken and 
pigeons, I don^t know if bigger birds (bigger then that 
of the eagle itself) have been recorded as it-s food. I 
vould bo grateful "if scEieone could enlighten me on this 
particular aspect,. 

2, 4BhZ-^jallQjr.Shri]J:e (A rtajnus , fusee s) qxi. tj^n .gJ^yJItlii' 
I have seen this species on the ground on many occasions* 
The first such ocoasion was on 25.3,79, ^iitai a pair of 
these birds were pulling out sane tufts of grass probably 
to line the nest at 13ie open meadow of Adyar Estuary- One 
bird, having. collected a beakful of material headed towards 


While the Handbcfol: f?cl.53 eavs tin5+ ^-v.-: ^ ^ ^ ■ - 

been recoi-ded actur^lly bn tht 1^ ^^h ?^ ^P^^ies Has 'not 

s?isl-pS *5S;^Ssi? :ss» 1*- "-- 

breedLig pS||f ' ^^^^ gradaaliy ..oult i^to full 

I liavehad the occasiD-ii' dJ' sfeeijto Loten '"g =nr,T.-r ■ ■ 

aear my hou.e In.^e ffSf l-^^' "">,''^^''"^^ *° A.gust'50 
described above. Eut onl 8 80 th= ."'^ ^°' ^^ '^^ ^^ 
darker, tbo daA -rlis L+I^; ' ^ ^iderparts ,.,ere mo-e 


I had w^it-r:^^ zn Pi'cfoKSoi- :'i,K:.^'eelakant3n on the matter 
and he said tiist a study on thiy u^T'tioiilai" aspect taa 
vjorthwhile and that the.stud;^ coulct "b^e laade on captive 
suntirda or on coloUi-^riiieGd speGimcns in the locality. 
With liiiiited knG7rled^e on food ha'bj ts of this species and 
timer -X wondor if it i.^uld.'be pocaible for me to undertake 
■such a atudyn But in the 5rieen^.;v-!iile, I would ho grateful 
to the rcaderLJ if they could supply any further details on 
the subject , 

4.^UofehJ^ns_£^.^ialcec On ti-^ different instances, I obscru-ed 
the mobbing of a soake by myn^hD {Acridotheres tristia) and 
crows (dorvus spltnderLS aiid-O.ioacrorhynchos) at Adyar 

OsE the latter instance (i.e. on 1,9-SO), at about A-A5 pm, 
walking in the opei ^'round adjoinir^ the estuary, I came 
across some 20-23 house crows, 10-15 mynahs a:d 5 jun^e 

'Grov:a ±ii an excited condition- The cause for their exclte- 
meit was the presence of a rat snake (Ptyas mucosus), somo 
3 feet in 1 etigth crawling on tho ground. The birds were 
attacking, the tail and abdomen part of the snake. The 

.jungle crovjE "being tho largest birds in fhe group were 
bolder and were seai nippiti the tip of the tail as the 
snake oratiLed past them. If the snake came too close, some 
of the birds, especially mynahs would rise up in the air^ 
I could observe tho nobbing for nearly 5-4 minutes when the 
unfortunate reptile desperately tried to hide itself irioving 
under the ccvor of the bushes but never trying to defend 
itself in any other manner while the opponoits secanod to 
whoie-heartodly enjoy thomselTcs culling its tails Emd 
trying to provoke it „ At last the rat snako managed to 
give Slip by eliding into a pit covered by dense vegetation. 
On the earlier occ^.^sion {on 11.8.1579), I had observed 

^about a dozen E^iiahs , 20-2j> house crows and a couple of " 

jungle crows around a checkered keelback (?) which lay in' 
an exhausted condition. Unlike the last observation, 7jherB 
the birds remained silent^ thie group was ouite vocal. The 
house crows also beiiaved differently on this ccoasicn in 
that they ^-ould rise up in the air vertically to about 
6-7 feet and land back. Again the jungle crows were bolder 
ajid tried to peck tho reptile but would rejrxeat i-P the snake 



Egd-Iiett er Da ys in Ha^.^T-j.h^^_>'.j]__ilfril^, ; 

^^lay. 1^61 J VJhil-e out fo^^-ah evsQing stroll wLtii my ao^ 
bma, she put up froc some uaidei-gx-o^rth b^.eatli tall TecJ' 
trees a bird about tbe size of a pigeon- As tbe ovsr-all 

impression was that of a dark bird uy first thought >-as that 
■It jouat have bean a Elack Par-cridge (Prancolinus f rmcolinus) 
PortimateLy, th- bird settled on a lovr branch of a neai-by 
smaller tree before flying off again snd I va^ able to ^et 
a gooa viQv of It fo^ some time but the result of this 
closer look did not confirm -^k^. aJ> opinion. 

The hoad appeared black covered ^dth small white spots and 
the upper back, perhaps tho upper chest also dark coloured 
Out ^ovcrod vath loi^gcr white spots, Oihc lower part of the 
GiiGSt vas crcamy-vhito and had brown i-locics on it viiile 
lowor dOT^ still thjre wore no markings at all. it had a 
dark, sloadcr bill vith what seemed a slight curve at the 
txp and a rathor sinall head set on a slim nc-ck which r^inded 
me 01 tho appearance of a Dovo, On my returri to the house 
consultation of 3alim j^ai ' s , 'The Bo^ of Indian Birds', 
suggested that the bird in questicn had beer^ a Painted 
Spurfova {&alloperdix lunalata) . 

5i^dJ3lx^iS81i Once more out 'fOT an .esrly evening stroll, 
but this time more activelj^ concerned with the collection 
o^ mushroc^s, G-ina and myself disturbed a Stone Curle^^ 
IBurhinus oedicnemus) ran off along a small paiihway 
with Its characteristic hunched, scuttling gait. 'Ihm , to 
my delight, also appeared Khst yesterday I decided inust 
have beon a Pain-ted EpurfOL^ji. Leaning forward sli^'^htly as 
it ran it had a Ic^^ look about it and \-ibAlo mcking off 
into thicker undergroV^h it dnitted a subdued ducIcLng noise 
similar to that made by 'a domos-^^ic hen i^cr- slightl v 
startled. As It ritovad -quickly I t;GS to make^ out 
any spurs but the inoidcnt took xjlaoo aboub twenty-five 
yards avj?,y from tho site of the i^irst viewing, 

£ih_I|3lx_128li Ha^/lng Just fir.i?hed breakfast I deo^^ded to 
go out :Ln order to track do^ a V.'oodpecker whose tapping 
sound I could hear comijig from behind the house^ "lowever 
most thoughts of Hbodpeckers wcro forgetton, most probably 
xt v;ould nave been a yellow fronted Pied or Mahratte Vood- 
pecker (Piooides oahrattensis) , when I noticed a strange 
type of Drongo sitting on one of the Bucaln^tus trees, 
.Jts Tail had four distinct points and of this I'm auite 
sure because, later on, it flew dom on to some telegraph 
mroE where at raised its \± for prceiaing purposes and 
the tan-l still appeared as boioro. 



later tho "bird ^zas Jcin^d by a Slightly larger 
the tail o^ v'hieh bolng diSGimiiar ^zid also unusual. 
^dccL in z'. fori^ but "-_all' tlio incidc Lips of eacli 
point were si-ciicr idiltc or compoacd. e-f Tcry fitic, spaced" 
out fcatJi^-^B,- 

^hQ firet bird 1 took to b e ^ tmale as the Qeaord one 

twice flew off ^id oj-x its return, presumably mth something 
in its beaK, Ttade :^eeding gestures towards the fonder. 

Altliough never at ' such 
type birds 1 also saw 


clost q^uarters, these Drongo- 
year on a few occasicns during 
Augiast and September even tiotLr^g on the ^Ist Aiigust, 1980 
that their call ^s of a sustained not unpleasant whistling 
variety. I^otr, as then, I am puzzled as to -;^.at they 
actually are and look forward to some enlightenmea t on fee 



.^b eri£di_C t:^£S_ dis c ox££M_ilLlXan^an d GhJnaj^ f' , t;offi- -Tl: _g 
Intem.atipn5.1 .Go^'^eil^ox ^i ^f^d _ ;£ i^gs^^^aiion Ji.eHSlet^,Qr E 

With the numoer oi Siberian Granos {G^s l^i^g^rg^us 
cantering at the Keoladeo &hana Sanctuary in India dom 
to 34 during the T-jinter of 1980-81, locating and detexmining 
the size oi oth^r populations has bocoiao all the more urgent 
QibcrLan Cranes formerly wintered in ^gnifieant numb^s 
along the Caspiaai lo^rlands of northom Iran, bun; repeated 
surveys in recent decades indicated that the species ^.■as 
c^-tirpated- In the spring of 1978, however, a relict gv^^up 
of nine Siberian Graties was found wintering lii a vetland 
at the heart of a dudi trapping compleK near the village 
of F:^redunkonar, olcng the southeast shore of the Gaspiart^ 
Danng -ihe past >.Mter the number of cranos present there 
was up to 16, according to I^Ir -Mohamm cd Rosa Vasarie of the 
Iran Department of the Enviromricat , who roportod tho 


figu.-e to ilr.rxeoY-^e Archibald, Ghaimati of the ICBP Orane 
VJorlcinc; Group. 

?roic Ghir,a Li ^ArcbX'oald has recently learned that this 
■year am-i.-cyiTca-;; ely one busidred 3iberiai:t Cranes ^ere found 
TaJi-l>':r-L:ir/ r.ear the Ysngts.-a .Ri-j-cr in northern Jip^g-o. 
Pro;-noo^ . -rue "birds/ whose entering ares \ra,s not T:>reviously 
^:cwL. ^ejQ diseovored by i-Ir.l'u-ohang Ohou, an omithologiat 
wri-tit the Institute oi^ ^eolo^-y in Beijing who had searched 
lor the si^srtes each H:1,nter smce 1977. 

The total knoi-D^ populatiOH^^ la no^-? 150, 40 perceit less 
than the 250 previously estimated by the International 
Crane Foimdation. There remains the hope that other 
wintering areas iji China mil he located. 


££ gt . s , Qf _J£gax££_Bir^,s_gij_ieli3-g raah ^.jires by_ T^ ^m^ij^ 
,^^gJ^ r^asjii^^2=:45^£v er est^^nj^^ , 

it IE usually eaid and reported that the weaver Urds 
buxld their nests in trees especially in palia trees. But 
to my surpiTLSe I sew the nests mado in telegraphic wires 
1^ 2 places while I was on a tour of soui^h India by bus, 
Thofir^t place vj^.s about 15 1^ from Salom ( a place called 
Hallorc) ^^en I sa-,.. a dosen of th?^ (-on the right side) 
while somg to Sal-em from l^amaklcal - The Second place ttgs 
aboux 1 kra f rom Vriddachalam en the O^o^hudur Vriddachaiam 
Road, ton tho left si'do'-T^iilo going to Vriddachalam ) , I 
vjould like to knov idi^thcr this 1^ a common f eatL;rc . If 
so, what kind of weaver bird one can m.:poct in these nests'? 
t^au readers of }i-ovslct-toT tbrow COrae light on this. 

4-X^:^^_fcQ_If^;^ljjiiax^Kh^^^^re^j;din£_^^ headed b ee- " 

sat^_bj_^,J^jae^n^er: Thic is in reference to the 

com.erLts on the I'^ow^lotter' by Shri. Lavk-omar Shaohar, 
rJ-ijBW February 1931. Eq has pointed out while coianimtin^ 
on Chestnut headed bci-e-tor, ^,._ the Green Bec-oater 
otten shows a vor^' copper.^ glint on the head seer, at certain 
angles, end can be ccnfuscd for the current favourite- Tho 
latter lacks the elongated cnntrrJ. tail uins, but these can 
he broken or frayed in the Gretai Bee-eater^ Going ahead 
ne writes, ^In our part of the country t:e might be very 
lucky to get snoth-r speoieo to confuse us . The European 
Bee-cater. This also has a ChestnuTd-Sh head. Both this 
and the Chestnut headed have yellow "hroats contra ^reen 
or blue of the Green Boe-eator^, 


Mfiy I point out Eomo loopfiolce lioro? The SrcGn Boo-Gatcr 
QiTJi coiTfuse U2 whe","- aeen E^t certain angles* Agreed^. But 
tiien,' nu^c;iioji com t;:: of the ysllctr throo-tl I thia:^ for 
t~.e 3-aLlOT^' colour '^aere opjinct be 3Jiy confusion- Secondly, 
tlie elangrrteTi. ca it j.-z'l tail pins a?ji be Imairon or frayed 
in oje or two 'blril^ but it c^-ziLiot be easily found in all 
iFour or ^ivc binds. 

Again t^ -writes ^bout ^jropoan Bco-op-tcr for yollow throat 
llh^i ttiG pi^blc^m is of tbCi-pro JGotod contral tail pinaV 
Is it pousiblo for all tlic birds tliat th^y XDight have met 
T/ith r.n accid^t? And as a result of th^ at^cider-t, tho 
elongated central tail pine mi^ht have broken or frayed 
of all the birdal Surely ttiey wore birds, >xot migratory 

I agree ^.vltb tho views of ""Shri Khachar that there should 
bo sonio proof to oor^-'oboratc- But I think it is not 
possible for a person to have a cazoera or a wLtnoss at 
each and every place and at every momont. 

3 I 




Editor: Zafar Futehafly t 

Dadda Gubbi Post, Vfa Vidyaragar, Bangalore- 562 134 % 

Annual Subscription Rs, 1&/- j 

Cover p/cturs: Elacktailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) [ 
Photo by: E. Hanumantha Rao 


Newsletter for 

VOU XXI NO, 12 DEC. 1981 


■W-^ "■'-. ■ 





Manufacturers of: 




Vol.SXI Woa2 ^ Eacember 1981: - 

y-. ----- - 

Coritents . " "'■■ 

Editorial - Captive Breeding of endangered' "birds - 

Madhav Gadgil Priae for study of Eoels - 

l?he EX. Surondran Prise for birdi'jBLChing at m.glit - 

Suljscriptlon for 1982 - A CeQ>'=;us in 1932? - 

The Birdwatchers DigaBt- 

The Endangered Birds of Bangladeeii bjr M,A» Eeaa ftharL* 

Eis-tril:ution of some birds in. ■ by Dr-Asbok 
Kumar ShaTina- 

A i)ay at Nal-earovar water bird Sanctuary by S-G-auriar. 

Sparrows in Chancery (Frora the London Times), , 

Animel Bicmass in native forest of the Orongorongo Valley, 
WellJ-ngton , by R^E^ Brock±e ^d Abdul Moeedo 

An Eijol utionary Tale by William B-Wylie, . 
C o r r 63 p nd^Q^ 

Sirkeer Cuckoo Itj Anuradha Singb, 

Birdwatching at SheelaJ heronary by S-P.S-, Thak;ker, 

Pellet eastirig-''by Bee-eaters b^. Y;Santliaram» 

Tile Bank Myaa ( A p r 1 d othe r eg ^^g^.glm ._anug ) and King Crov 
J jji cruriiS asimilia Jpre^dng upon the crio?ret Ach eta 
(prthopters ;Cryllidae) by R^H» Bhargava. 

Observations on the Southern Coucal Genj yppus si nensi s 
feeding on the satj^scaled Tlpor .li cj"4g c^a^rinatus by 
B.Venugopal , 

Stop Pr^e from Ory:j: = 


C aptive ..Bregditig .cif. .snlang^gred, s ; There have been 
several successful dpex'a'&it'ns regarding captive breedirig 
of birds- Ereryon-e bas heard ot the fJene Goose bred by 
Pater Scott at ^imbi^dg^ and released into its native 
hsDitat in Ha-waip, ■ Oiir Whiteiri-nged Vood-duck is also 
doing ^?ell in Slimbridge and it is to 'be hoped that the 
rain forests of AssaiQ will remain to reoaive the birds 
■when a sufficient number has been bred, Prokash G-ole, 
who studied the problems ot captive breeding in Ataerica 
recently, has submitted & project to WiiF j India for brew- 
ing the Blacfcne^ked crane^ [Phis is a difficult operation 
involving among other thiiEigs the rapid transfer of eggs 
taken in Ladakh to tbe incubatord whenever they are 
placed- ■ " ■ 

Another project by the well known falconer 3-M.Osnian 
(11-DA0 circular road, De3ara iKxny UP) concerns the 

captive breeding of Shaheen Falcons {Falco peregrinator), 
Osman has succeeded in aquirlng a female -which has been 
naiQcd Kali Rani, but a ti ercel(male) has not yet been 
found- Can any of our readers help in aquirin^ one- 
While -waiting foa? the male, Osman has aquired 'first 
hand ezpetience regarding -the Shaheens behaviour, includ- 
ing its instlnc^t and learning ability^ response to re- 
productive cyple, social behaviour towards human beings, 
as well ^_lts physiology^- . 

fe d^y GadgjJ_ Prj_gf^__;foi;. ff^l^dy of P ro p_lg i There has been 
only one entry and a fairly good one by E-P. Patnaik which 
was published in the September-October issue and on behalf 
of the He-wsletter X aia happy to award the prize of Rs.lOOAp 
to hisn , I hope, however, that sane more accounts of ' 

these biTT^s -id.11 come in next year . Readers may recall 
the note in the Harch-April issue about Eoels in "the 
Maldives. With the destruction of crows the Koels have 
no foster parents and their future will be endangered. 

'^ \^e KpK^Su r endyan Prise for bird watchin g at night : Ho 
candidates h£ive 'applied' for this nocturnal undertaking^ 
so the prise money of Rs.lOO/- is retained for 1982* As Si 
I rianarked earlier, owls, night- jars, and night-herons 
are some of the birds which can be written about- 

Sa^e2xiiiSio|2S_J^±:_iSag! l have not yet cashed the subs- 
cnptiDus whicli been acknoi/ledged- 

beoi received, \^11 ail of you please ^esuedite' your 

remittance so tliat ^hg can oommence the ne:rt year en a 
sound bas:.B. Costs are soaring and I can only fight 
xni-lation by having ccmhined issues occasionally, and 
limiting the .pagoa every month. I vjould lilce to thank 
our advertisers., Viekers Sperry of Iridia Ltd., and the 
Kamataka Government for their support,' 

l^si?|4a_I2ai? '- I wonder vrhether we can embark on 
this ambitio^^3 project next year. The set of maps 
produced by the Tamilnad Pilnters aad Traders Pvt.Ltd., 
from their India School Atlaa could be uaed for establi- a qrid of 100 Icrn square within ^,,-hich maisbers could 
maintain their records. T^q maps are" in "the scale of 
1:6 million or 1 o- . 60 L,^. i,e, ICO ^ is ropressntei 
T>y i,bt> CJQ , The maps hsve squares of 2 Lat. t 2^ Lons 
Planted on than and each square can be conveniaitlv 
.referred to by a combination of the letter aT>pearing in 
the north and south margins and the n^^ber s-jves^rln^ in 
east and vest margins, as for instance, squars B3, 

aix maps cover the.'t^ole area of the cou^t^y. The 
maps are only to help in identifylr.g areas where partici- 

pants^jould like to study the breeding tl^ds and keep 
a list of the spooies, the relevant inforjiation about 
nesting and breeding, E-id a cmsus ot the birds that thev 
are able to see. If thcro is a roasor^^ble p^'oiect of 
bird-^-cchers throughoat the ooi-jitr:^, we may be able to at useful iirfoi^ation. It >dll talso be interest- 
Ingfor those participating in the censuG to interact mth 

?.^S%^^° ^^^ ^^^^-- ^^^ ^^^^"^^^ ^ ^^>^ i^ aw 3ome- 
times there is a very significant change in breedic^ 

species between one area and another not too far away. 

J^£Ji£lJ^^^ A vary interesting new publi- 

cation vfcich acts as a cleaning house for information on 
birds in s„nv„--j;:L from many sources is the Bird Watchers 
Digest, lozlio, Marietta, Ohio 45750 ' J^%lo?^iltl^y^ 
i^f IS reproduced in this issue from the July/August 
-L^Di nuiflDer* 

S? ^# ?hdarifiered Birds of Bangladesh by Mr.r^ .A.Hega RhaQ 
Dg pt.,._of aoolo g '£j_uniy_eT -s itv of. Dacca , 'nB._ QCB-z 2 . Ban ^la d_ag|i ; 
In spite of t he BsSgl ad esh ^-iildlif e(Preservatiaa) AGt,l975j 
which bane trapping, shooting and trading of most species 
of birds and other -wildlife birds are regularly killed, 
trapped and sold in. the markets. Th^.s , and the lB,bitat 
destruction followed by rapid conversion of foreets aid 
marshy areas into either agricultural plots or human 
habitation, lumber poaching, oleariog of undergrowth and 
r^oval of jungle frora the countryeide is fast reducing 
the population of many species of birds, some of vjhich 
are almost on ttie brink of extinction. 

BangLadesb, located between 20*^34' to 26^36' 1^- aBd 

88 01' to 92 40'E has an area of about 142, 776 Sf^.km, 
including about 21,950, of land having some sort 
of forest, 8300 sq^.km. of rivers, canals and streaiQS, 
1628 s^.L-nn. of brackish water, 764 sq_,km- of ponds and 
tanks, 2950 sq.lon. of t^etlands - locally callod ke^ls, 
bgora and t^ ^_ojrg end 906 sq^knj, of artificial lakes; 
the country supports some 5^6 species of birds (Khan, 
g b^eckli st of Wildlife of Ban^OajJesh , in press). Of 
these^ roughly 53.5 percent are migratory and 66-5 per- 
cent resident, 322 species are non-passerine and 244 
are passerine. 

ITJCI^'s (International Union of Conservation of 
Haiure and Natural Resor.rces) Red Data Book on Birds, 
prepared by the International Council for Bird Preserv- 
ation (ICBP, 1979), rated White^o-nged Wood Duck (^iilsa 
gcatulaiial P Peregrine Falcon (;P^.sa JiejfiSiln.aii) ^ Burmese 
peafowl (£3:^ SJ^ticiis), Spotted Green Shanlt { g^rijiga 
gutti f er ) and Asian ioid-tcher ( J^lgn.o drom_Tjs s ._CTi p g^ Lm ^t us 1. 
as Endangered- Unfortunately it has mentioned only three 
specieSj out of the above, as present in Bangladesh, 
although the other twiJ species have been included under 
the list of the birds of the neighbouring countnies. 
IThe Bunnese Peafoti still occiirs in the Evergreen forests 
of the Chittagong fUll Tracts District, Recently (35-4. l^Bi) 
I have seen tvo Asian DotrLtcher^ on the sandbara(G"-'3,rs) of 
Padma River, near Bajshani to-vm -whore I was prospectins 
the breeding grounds of the G-harial, 

Schedule I of GIT^ (Convention of International 
Trade in Endangered Species of ^Id Pauna and Tlora) 
Includes the follovdng avifa\ma, ^ich occur in Bangladegh| 
Ipmite Stork ( gio onl_a ^iconia) , ^akta/Comb Puck {gar kid - 
3 ,o?TVL3 naL a notos l ^ Imperial ^gle ( Ari jJJla h^i aca ) . 
WhltevrLnged Wood Puck, Burmese Peafovl, Bengal Plorican 

(E upodotia b^Qgalg n s?.s ) , ami Spotted -Green Shank. 

Schedule II includes Peace ck-Pheae ant ( _gDl.;v;g.e]._ctron! -"'" 
bi cal ca ratum ) which is present iii the evergreen forests 
of Chittagong and Sylhet^ 

Other than the aboTe, Bangladesh has soioe more 
specieB which may he conBidered endangered , I am fui— 
niehing the list of bird species which I consider to he 

endangered in Bai:>gladesh^ ^' 

1# ^gdiceps cristatus, Great Crested Grebe 

2. Fel l can us a.uro cr Q.talug - l-Jlilt e/Rosy Pelican 

5» £elicanu& j]J:ii .n,i-fj-p_ensl5 t Grey Pelican 

4. Eh3lsc^aco^-a>; f. usg i c qXIIb > Indian Shag 

5' Azd^ea impgri ga-j- s , G-reat \'/hitebellied Heron 

6. Ar . dea goliatn , G-o?,iatn/Giant Keron 

V. Ibi§^ I^u^a^^^lmija^ 1 Psinted Stork 

3- gi con ia jpiec ojous , VJhitenecked Stork 

9-. SiGoni£ cj conJ-Ji- r I'Jhite StorJc 
10. Xenornjni^^s asiat j.cus ^ Blackneoked Stork 
11- JtSEton:^^_^s du biu s , Greater Adjutant Stork 
^2* Len to pt i los .iavnJ::iou g - Lesaer Adjutant, 
15- diblg gapilLos^, Black Ibis 
^4. ^.egadis fal Qin^ ;]^Tjg . Glossy Ibis 
15- Plata! pa_iqi]nnj*p_r^^.. Spoonbill 

16. Ph Qenicunnss r osgi^G , Common Flainingo 

17. An^r fabi^J^a,"- Bean/Pinkfooted Goose 

18. Ansex .^nser., Groylag Goose 

19* :Ana s angustl ro.stjj-S , Marbled Teal 

20. Anas foj^o^^, Baikal Teal 

21. M^B_ falc^,ta, l?E?lcatecl Teal 

22. An &s r^nj^l^i^j V^i^son 

23- 4fig .s bl.yr'^.6:'cr.^ Bhovi^ller '- ' 

24- SarLlg^dio^d.s n^£no_tds J ITakta/Comb Puck" 
25.,C^,Y^na, tiGi\fjl'p:l^-. i^^tewinged ttood Duck, 30-40 ducks 

-- "'■'"■' in Eaasalong Reserve, evergreen 
fondest, Ghittagong Hill Tracts ' 
Districtj habitat destruction lack 
of nesting trees, capturing of 
ducklings by the tribal .chalm^as sad 
occasional hunting leading the 
species to estinction. 

26- A.'^iceds ±g!_rdofii ^ Jerdon's Baaa 

27- LophQ_,t.r i ■Orchis " k lene rli , Rufousbellied Hawk-Eagle 
2S> AqAl4 1a h^igo a. Impciial Ea^lQ 

29- 4^u.iia cl^_n£ai Greater Spotted :&^gle 
50. AoJ^i'l P2I-ua2;3-na s Lesser Spotted Eagle 
31 r. IctiiT£L^us g,3J-.av;prj gi_s , Black I^gle 

32* Hallaeetus leubogasterj Ringtail ed/Pallae ' s Pishing 


33f gr cgps -calvuSi King Vulture, - -. 

54- Aegypijjs mpna chus , Cinez-eas Vulture ^ go recent sightip^s 

35." Gy^B iJJ^.i^liS, Longbilled Vulture 

56- G-ypg b eJ:i£;aj-_eflgls ^ i/H-J-tebaaked Vulture, it 1.1B.Q Gormnon 

tvjo decades back, now disappearing fast, 

57. Circ a etug galli. cus f Short'-toed iSa^le 

58. Falcg oiaTTD Jcug t Lagger FaLcoiL 

59' gg^c p p^erggritius , Peregrine Falcon, occasionalLy seen, 


40- Franccli.Tiua f r anco linus t Black Partridge 

41- jFrancQ l^ p ondj cejJl_anuB , Grey Partridge 
42, ;Fran coli nus ^ulaj^ia 

43- J^Qjihu xa leu,ccj[(^.an ai Blackbreasted Kali j -Pheasant 
44< Po.ljp l eotron bicaLcarajui n ^ Peacock"- Phesant 
4.5. Pav o crl sta tus , Common Peafo^jl 

46- Pavo iD Utic us , • BUrm es e PeaLOwL 

47- G rus ,an ti goji a t Sarus Crane 

48. ftn t hr o PO_lie s vjjrgo , Eemoiaell© Crane 
49" H_el_iopai_e pgr sg ngjia . Masked Fintoot 

50- jjupQAotig b'_^ig^,engi9. ^ Bengal Plcrican, no recent 

sight record, possibly es:t^ 

51- T rj^pg ^ ggfti i gr. Spotted G-reen Sandpiper 

52, Ij.m n.odr Q_nius semlg^fQ^tus , Asian Do wit c her/Snip ebiUped 

55t g_apell a .^^olj^^^s,. Solitary Snipe 
54- HliynchoT>s gj-b_i coli-Ls ^ Indian skimmer . - 

55. Duc ,al_a b ad^- a. Imperial Pigeon 

56, g gitt a cul ^ f l_?i3Ghii p Slatyheaded Parakeet 

57- CI am at o r corom an dus « Iied\n_nged Created Cuckbo 

53, T;ytQ .ca l l gig is , Grass 

59' PhQ_dlj.jA s. badlu s ^ Sikkim Bay Owl 

60- B a t r a n ho s to rn u s h odgsotii - Hodgson's Pro^outh 

61- ^yc tj.o mis sth^sntoni , Bluebearded Bes-aater 
62 J, Eurystoiaus ori e ntglis . Broadbilled Roller 
6,5- Buceros bigorfil^^ , Great Pi od Rombill 

Apong passerine birds only the ELll Kyna or Grackle 
f Graeul a r eli^ qga), is really facing QK;t4.nction bec^tuee 

of^'pet trade £jid to aome extent due to the lack of l'-^' 
softv/ood trees suitable for its nesting^ ^' 

All species of birds occurring in Bangladesh ar^ 
sho-wing a tendency of population decP^ine either because 
of mass-scale habitat destruction or killing of the adi^t 
hiyds for food*. As a group, both th^- diurnal and noc-^u--"' 
rTn^, birds of prey populations are declining faster 
tA'^ other groups* Groups such, as thi.j crovs, sparrows, 
tjayae, parakeets and m^as; also Blue Bock Pigeon, having 

wide ecological -tolerances, are no doubt flourishing In 

the rapidly urbanised ar^ae as ^joll as in the 'uillages- 

PJ ^jribut lpn, o f_s,om , eJjird B. _.±n RaiasthajT. ; gjf__^^-'-^-5l]-P ^_ 
■ M°5^5haT maj ^4-j Dhul esli war Gar_den_T , J.alDUJ— . .^0 5001 : 
gj:p- yfl_Qrair:e_f A ipafi romis akool) i J^ear about Jaipur at 
suitable localities, whenever I heard a bird sktilking 
in reed-beds, I dismissed it as either a Whitebreast ed 
Waterhen or Indian Koorhen, until I saw a bird in the 
open which neither liad whits under tail-covHrte nor 
breast as white as that of a Whitebreast ed Vaterhen- 
It^s upper parts were dark brovmieh and underparts 
asby-^rey which turned darker posteriorly- There was 
no colour difference between the forehead and the top 
of its head. This bird is ocaasionally seen near about 
Jaipur at suitable places. At Saris^a I have seen this 
bird which is undoubtedly a brown Crake - 

In his Handbook (Vol, 2, p,167) Salim Ali has not 
included Ra^asthan, while describing the distiibution 
of the Brown CraJce? In the checklist of the Birds of 
Delhi, A^ra and 3haratpur by Humayun Abdulali and 
J.D. Pandey it ia"D>entiocied as absent at Bharatpur and 
uncommon at Delhi. Blgh "Whistler did not include this 
bird in ^The omithcloglcal survey of Jodhpur State* 
(JBIJH3, Sept- 195S) , Although I have not seen Adara^s 
work on the birds of Sambhur lake published in Stray 
^sathero, I pi-esume that it was not noted there. Sambhcir 
^lak© lies on the eastern boundary of the former Jodhpur 
'state and Whistler has_c6iiimented on the study of previous 
workers in his paper- '. ''"'' 

;Dittle Bittern (ixobrv chas mi n, utus : On 24-1-81 at about 
14-50 hours I strolled to a waterhole about 1 km- from 
the Eariska PLest House. On a submerged dried branch sat 
a heron slightly smaller than a Pond Heron but with its 
crown and oociput black; back, blackish grey, and under- 
parts ashy-rgreyi It had no tiilte on the crown, 

Jli though the light was poor, I think it had no 
green on it's upper parts, I identified it as a male 
ifittle Bittern- 

Salim ^i^s Handbook (Vol*2t p. 83) describee its 
distribution as 'Vest Pakistan (sind) and Northern India 
(iTepal, U.P-), east to Assain(Gachar-Eaker) ', 


Humayim Abdualali aiod J.D. Panriey men'tion il; as absent 
at Bharatpur azid ur_comiQOn in Delhi r 

r - . .L. ' 

Fainted ' apur"Fon-I "<;.Gall6p;^V[fix 1 nrt-^;! i:^tf^_> - ^Mle de^^rib- 
±.ig the 'distri'bution" of Painted, Spurfo^jl irt ilandbook 
(Vol, 2, P,70J Salim Ali-Says ■' -...Hot in Rajasthan-.. 
Range largely overlaps and/or Jij^sa^js confusingly >dth 
that ot 0_^lp^erdij^ ■ spadicga . - - . ' R.3, Dbamsakumarsinliji 
and X.S, lavkufflar- ill their book 'Sixty lndia3a Birds' on 
page 70 describe obeerviiis this bird, while ci.iEjbing a 
hill in Ranthamlor !I!iger Reserve and a photograph tsk en 
there also appears in this book. 

At Samsica aagei-^fteaerv^, I observed this bird in 

mixed forests of Dhok .( Anog:.^ a_su,s, p^ndp^a-i and Bamboo 
(31sMx22,^Bm^ B tilctus ) ..alfing the dry nullahe in the 
ravines . 

Pi£d^Hjna_J_S tu^iiS,_,.Q^traJ. ; In the Book of Indian Birds 
It's distiibution ±b described aS ^India east of aline 
from Ambala (Haryaiia) to Hyderabad and Masulipatam (Andhra) ' 
This line goes about ICO miles east of Jaipur. I Eelvs 
observed this bird occasionally at Jaipur near some ponds 
though never in the oity. At Jil^jar which is about 40 miles 
west oi the above line^ it is very common everywhere inclu- 
ding the city, I couldn^ t find my reason for' ita absence 
in Jaipur City, "■ - '' .-■■.'. ., 

J—IiaY .^t I^alsarQ:vp^_^Bt sF._bji.rd .„^nGtLjgrv^BY_g.^g^tiT;^^ , 
Se ^l-Qr- -S-upd t ^^_o f_^Qgt_Of fl cgs j_Anand . Dj-^dsjon , t^-u^ ia^at 
2^Q.Qk' i^alsarovar lake? a shallow body of "-vjater, 
stretching over Several sq,iLI^^s* is only 65 kirns, away 
from Ahmedabad, via, Sanand, connected hy a motorable 
road. !Dhe i^ter is nowhere very deep and is intersp^raed 
mth small squelchy patches of land jutting out of the 
water and thereby providing excellent resting site for 
myriads of vater birds. The lake is also richly infested 
vjith weeds, like, Ip^.e ocharis s^-j Q yp. e_ru_s sp. , , T5LchhOjTi_g a 
oras^lX^us, Species of E^mipha .ea and l>iurnbium and so on. 
The weeds, insects 'and tiny fishes and crustaceans provide 
food ior the birds, 

I visited the s^ctuary in late vinter this year; 
just the proper time for a visit as scores of migratory 
■Tfiater birds ranging from snipe to flamingoes can be seen 
during the winter months. The leading of ducks, the 
spatter of coots, the hoverit:^ of the brown headed gulls. 


the sqaeal o:f the storks and tlie dabble of the elegant 
flajDingoes - eQ.1 present a phenomenon pulsatiiig with life 
and energy and is a treat to bird watchera^ ■ ^ . 

The largest flocks of birds that I aa^/ ^-lere of coot, 

avocetj hlaokwinged stilt j pintail, vd-georin gadi-raZLlj 
mallard ar^ shoveller, common teal, lesser ^^histling teal, 
gargany, demoisell.e crane, rosy pelican, bro^jn headed 
gulls and. flamingoes. 

Any descilption of the birds of the s^mctuary vould 
be incomplete if I do not mention the innumerable pipits, 
Hevexal species of -wagtails, shxlk'^.s and rosy pastors. 
All of these, cazt be seen in large niimhers around the 
lake* Howeverj cormorants, which are cominon elsewhere 
in similar setting, were consplcuouB by their a'bsence. 

The annexiAre shows the list of only prominent Speoies 
of birds, arranged familjiijise', The commo^-olace birds 
have been omitted from the list. 

AH MmiTR B, 


i. Little Grebe or Dabohick; 


i , Rosy pelican : 

i. Pond herOTt s 

ii. Ifittle egret s 

iii- Cattle egret s 


1- Black necked stork ; 

li. V/hite stork ■: 

iii. White necked stork s 

TI^R SSKI QEm -rni D , Ag 

i- Black Ibis ; 

ii- Ivhite ibis j 


i , PlaT:ingo ; 


i. Mallard s 

ii • Pintail ; 

iii. VJigeon ; 

iv- Gadf.-all ; 

V, Shoveller ; 

vi < CoiTjiTJOn teal ; 

viir^Gargany or blue mnged 

teal s 
viiiiLeS^er whistling teal ; 

( Podic^ QS £t3^Qoili3.) 
(^aLl_C3nM speci^eB ) 

(^r^^ E3^?.T^?.tta) 

(X^ii^itiUL'^i.chus g.siatioug) 

(£.^eu^ib:is ->,^illosa) 
i!^l\T-^'^2-.9^::p^Z-9^ m el. an o c sDhal a ) 

( £M ^ni o op t ^i^Ti s, zoseus ) 

(^1^^ d 1 ?i t vr hy n c.b OS ^ 

j^L pjL?,e],:?,^e) 



i<. Deraoteelle crane i 

ii . Sarus crane s 


.i r Coot ; 


i, Phea&ant tsiled Jacana : 

ii* Bronse winged jacana : 

i» Xittle ringed plover ; 

ii,[, 'Redwattled lapvjin^ .; 

ill. Yellov wattled lapwings 


i. Wood or spotted sandpiper 

ii. Little stint ; 

iii< Common or fantail snip: 


i - Avocet i 

±±. Black winged etilt ; 

i. Eroun tiGaded gull ; 

ii . Hiver tern s 

( Autli ro poi d e s vir£o) 

f Pullc a atr a) 

(HMropbas ianu s ^irurgaa] 
(M_Gtopidlua_ indious ) 

{C hara dxlvjg ^ub iug ) 
C YgJiellus indlcus) 
( .V" > p_al gba?^ cjas ) 

(Gali drlg minutugj 
(Ga^-Q^la g alJ.ln agg^) 

( to_ci j.r^-i ro s,tra fivos etta l 
trg^mantopiAs himgjito.pus) 

(Larijs brUnn i_Qe p_ halu3 ) 
iU^GTin^ a^rantlg_I 

Sparrowg_ia^ y_(FrQm_ t he LQ ndQ.n TimaS J: The dusky 
sparrow, a species of the i^crth JUaerican sea board is 
reported to "be doi-m to Its last five individuals - or 
was at tliQ last count, for sparro-v'-s are here today and 
gone tomorrow* !I!here may be a handful more in the wildj 
but thoir marshy habitat haa boen largely reclaimed for 
condominiuDis, and the odds are aga^^nst it. The days 
iiavG gone in the United States i,jhGi\ vast hydro- electric 
programmes could be halted 'at a suggettion that they i^ght 
injpair the habitat of a rare breed of mivmo-w- But even 
In the Eeagan era, Americans take ornithology seriously. 
A grant of g 4^,000 has been made to keep the Mrds in 
carefully-Qionitored captivity^ and a liature reserve is 
planned for their hoped-for descendants ^ ^.t a cost of 
3 2^ci^ Inflation has left its mark sineo the days i^ga 
t-wo sparrows vere sold for a p^enny* 

It is quite possible to bring a bird hack from the 
verge of extinction. The Ha^raii an goose, for instance, 
was rescued by the Severn Wildfo-.jl Trus^, and is now re- 
established in Hawaii several thcusand ^^trong, The gen&- 
pool of any Species^ irz-eplaceable and potentially 
ijimortal, intrinsicolly deserves respect. Any species 
may possess qualities which we may stand in nesd of one 



dayU The aciencefictioh scenari.o is familiar; a hithei^o 
imrecoi'ded sti-ain of St,B-t"us'& Da^ce is lap-ag vtiole 
Gontinaits waste; then, in the deatlO.y hush of a hospital 
where every living thing has succumhed (the very cockroaches 
exhausted), the ha^idsome young researcher hears the merry 
ohirriip of a dusky sparrow . . 

But those sselcing to save the dusky sparrow's genes 
face an obstacle that the Elimbridge gooee-breeders did 
not. ^1 five of tho birds are male? But the nation, 
which put a man on the mo'cn is hardly likely to despair 
because of a minor sethack like that ^ Two -v.-ays out~of 
the difficulty are in sight, and since this is Mcrica, 
the choice between them is likely to bo settled bj 
litigation - right up to the Supreno Court, no doubt, if 
the birds live that long. 

It wOLO-d be possible to cros!5 tl-^ = five tith j?aLated 
Sparrows like the Cape Sable, breeding their d^FScendants 
BO 3B to bring: cut duskineys at the e:v;p(;:npo ol sableness, 
(The fact that interbreeding is posdihlo Eu<:3?sts that 
the dusky is not a speci-o^? but ?, ■rs.oe, hardlv war-ranting 
auoh expensive custody in a^^y c^seK But gcTkjm.'nent 
attorneys argue that Grossir;-g vjoula ooiapromise the. inte- 
grity of the stock- Thoy forbid ntiBi^e^enation , and rely 
on the remote chance of a f^aale turning .up In the mid- 
So the birds ii^ope in luxury ^dthout uateSp if the-^ttomeya 
catch St-Vitus^s B^^nce vj^ien tho ^me ccm^esir.^'bhBy Kill lave 
no one but thea^elves to "blsnse^r "' 

They bear a heavj vicarf.ouj^ Tesnonsibility, ,it is 
true, ^e laj^t repre^^aitatl ves c" ^ spacl^:^ cv-'nduct 
their dj-nastic af^tu.r'^ under 'a heavior shadow of respon- 
sibility thai] sn.y king or etpor-or^. ^^^ari-o ^■ti:' take such 
matters notorioi^^ly lightly - hence- the ;^e5d for la^^yers 
and. endowaents. Ent there is a cautionaj."/ tale for the 
attorneys in ts^.J„ Eiiiight ' iJ poem ^'::~\ii Quaj^ga' - In the 
1S60S London Z6o posce^Eei a male, ec.d a female aua^.T^, 
a kind of dusky aobrn, bj 'c^hon probably .ixtinat "in lite 
wild- The future of the ■^-^-•^ ---': -i "->.*---.-i -.« .l-u^^- j.__. 

At last one 
and reared and ynortsl 
He was Adaa:; 
G alio pill ^ over tc> 
head flT^^g haokj 
He Btuicbled, a:::d broke a le^ 
and haci to ^e shot 



f ore si; 

of tfig. Q.rpn. | gQr Q ngo Valle y , 
iVbdul MQs_ed._v -^c O lo^" _Mv, 

^gdmaJ^ Bi omass in native 
>ell lngton^^ _ 5y_g^_^... ..B rogkls^g^ 

DSI T I> Private B ^^i g, Lo-^/er Hutt : As psrt of a continuing 
ecosystem studyT ^- suooession of. -vjorlcers has measured the 
abundance of several animal groups in podocarp-broadleaf 
forest of the Orongorongo Valley- linnual litterfall 1J^,3' 
also measured and estimates made of above-ground plant 

__ . ^ Our forest produces more litter than most Eiaropean 
deciduous forests snd the fall of lit'iier is more evenly 
distrdbuted throughout the year, Most tropical rainforests 
produce more litter than the Orongorcngo forest, European 
oak forests and tho local podocarp-broadleaf forests 
contain about equal above-ground biomass. 

Besults cf studies on animal abundance trore converted 
to kg body weight per hectare (Table l). 

Table 1; Animal biomass in podoc-arp-broa^eaf tpr^st, 

Orongorongo Valley. 

Taxonomic group 


Mean biomass 






Reptiles and amphitilans 






Brushrtail possums 

1980 . 

ia,6 - 


14c8 '' 

Ship rats 









Stoats , 

Tot^l ■maTfiTnals 





Includes Collembola., beetles, mites ^ spiders, centipedes, 

millipedes, isopods and amphipods only, Orily ground- 
dwelling species have been sampled, 

Host goats shot out in 1976- 

Exclnd^es deer and pigs, which ocjcur only in low numbers. 

Earth-Vn^rms constitute by far the largest bioi^ass 
in the community and would once have been exploited a^ 



a :food source by kims ^ wekas and robins. \'i±ih the loss 
of these species zfi-om the Orongoi-ongo forest, this food 
source remains alniOGt unexploited by vertehrates ^ with 
the exception of introduced blackbirds and eong thrushes^ 
The ground-dwelling arthropod fauna Is eubstantlal and 
diverse and carries a greater biomass in the lo^jland 
podocarp-hroadleax forest of the Orongorongo Valley 
in several tropical t-ain forests of the vjorld. 


The biomass of birds in the Valley is sioiilar to 
that found in podocarp-broadleaf forests of the South 
and Stewart Islands and in several Japanese and United 
States forests, but It does not approach the average 
1.5 Icg/ha found .in many European forests, nor th3 biomass 
of forest birds on Kapiti Island which is calculated to 
be 4-10 times greater, ^lamoaLierL predators i:robably hold 
the Orongorongo Valley birds to such low numbers, 

l^he biomaBs of majnaala is high by vjOrld standa^dsj, 
indeed, it is difficolt to find ^my otherforest supporting 
such a biomass of leaf-eating mammals. The biomass of 
brush-tailed possums jboth in the Orongorongo Vall^ and 
in other similar forests, is cause for alaim,. The forest 
cantiot support this biomass of possums mthou^ its floilstio 
composition and structure being transformelo 

M_lvol iiy,oiia^:^^^..S_^X-m-UiBmJE^.s^ ^_C^sso^i,n__iil]^ 

QolX^K£ ...of ^.gric ult ure and FQr ?str;f_^ J/:?^Jl_^2Z-ellll£,_iI-^l V^^iJ^v ! 
In many people's minds the vord evolution, if not a d.-^.rty 
word, is one which co^ijures up thoughts and ideas chat 
are not fully imderstood. luth that thought in mir.l, I 
would lilce briefly to discuss evoiuti^^n end sneclation 
in relation to birds. 

Evolution simply meane chang.ej and of course, i-n 
living creatures, change comes through roproduct.lon^ In 
every case of sei^ual reproduction f-jo se^JS C:f chromosomes, 
containing many geneSj join to fojjTr a n^,-: set latbi^^ the 
offspring. The genes are, in effect, charged ^eth re- 
producing every feature of the parent;:. Occasionally bohlq 
animals carry a mutation that can be 'passed on to the ■ 
ne^rt generation, Mutations occur frequency in birds but 


In some caseSj however^ riiu-ta"t i ons nay produce 
characteristics -iflhiGh. provide ofisprisig irrf-th distinct 
advantages over parents. These p^dVantagee or 'improvaDen-ts ' 
may involve the securing of foodj reproduction, or the 
avoiding of enemies- Tlie cJiaracteristics leading to such 
imp-' ovements would noi^ally "be carried over into success- 
ive generations. If, on the otlier hand, tho changes 
produce a disadvantage ^d-tMn tho environment » the bird 
will perish vdth no chance to pass on these adverse chara- 

Let us now take a hypibthetiGal e:K:aQiple using' the 
common dark-eyed ;)unco- I -would imagine that most readers 
of Btffi know the junco^ a small slate-gray bird vith a 
^'jhita breast and white outer tail feathers. Let us now 
assume that a million years ago or so [the time-span is 
not important), juncos were mthout white outer tail 
feathers, their e.^tire backs and tails slaty gray< They 
were preyed upon then, as they are now, by sharp-shinned 
and Cooper's hawks, and by some small predatory msjamals 
such as weasels "and minlt 

JJow suppose that in a breeding pair of juncos, some- 
thing happens during the gene transfer and the pair produces 
a nest of fledglings -with white outer tail feathers* In 
such a case, they young carrying this mutation would have 
a definite advantage in the environment over their parents. 
The locus of a predatory animal In pursuit of one of these 
mutants would be on the white outer tail feathers, a non- 
lethal part of thG bird, and not on the body of the bird 
itself. The bird would escape tiith a, few tail feathers"^ ■ 
lost, and these would be q^uiekly replaced. 

Since this mutation has created an advantage for 
those birds possessing the white tail feathers, they live 
to pass this gene on to successive generations. V/e now 
have two types of juncos co-existing, all dark backed 
birds and these mth the vjhite outer tail feathers- 
Because the new mutants are better able to escape pre- 
datlon, they increase in numbers while the Etll dark-tailed 
birds decrease. Ih/^itually the white-tailed birds replace 
the dark-taJJ-cd birds, and we have the present dark-^eyed 
jmtco that we know so wall today- This Is evolution in 

Thl»i3cing-'ftf t'he "IJlrds that you know that have iflxLte 

outer tall feathers, are not most of them birds that "fly 
up from the ground? The attention of the predator is 
fOGused on the white, while the bird escapes, virtually 



In prairie or iiimdra-itestin^ speoies such as long- 
epurs, pipits, and nieadoviaTka, the vhite In the tail 
may serve a aecondary fmictionn ^nce there are' normally . 
no elevated perches from which these hirds c^ri sing during 
oourtshipj they are I'Tell Imovn for Blrxglz'.f^ on "ihe mng,. 
therehy mald-ng theinselves and their song more obvious in. 
th^r attezjipt to attract and hold a irtate- The ^jhite in" 
the tail adds to tiiis visibility and may insure the 
attraction of a maire* 

- Consider then, that .present birds are the results 
■of the evolutionary prooees vjhich is contiguously fine- 
tuning the vailous species to lit. precisely into" their 

G o rr es p ond eno e . 

^zXMfieiL^a^^Q o_b^r_J^^i:3^ a_Sln£i[i_i.:^^ , 

go a tal-ta£l.JHUM-J£-^i:g^ Jiv:.v--^£3j^i_Xm^ s l furnipli below 
further details of my obs srvatlon.^ on sirkeer cuckccs, 
which you had asksd for in yQur latter dat-S^ 5-3-81. 

I made these observations in my housa in Isatnagar^ 
Bareilly District (UoP.)-Gn the campus cf th^i Indian 
Veterinary Research lHSt±"tute, in July 1980^ 

A flock cf These birds visit l^a sach morsoon and 

their arrival iQOre or less coincides ^-o-th mine? vhen I'm 
home for vacations froi3 Delhi Univt-sity, v;L-ere I study. 
In our large, wild and" raiabling r-f sx're garden they have 
ample cover in which to s^LuHJi abc.ut- Tot, tney ara'rath 

wide-ranging birds ei:? d aTe giiveji to iPre^^uenti''"^ a very 
large {some 4 hectares) f-aio-r^- fi^ld bfldn^:^ '_»ur j 

ey are rathto:' 
. ver: 

i.OUC o 

Won^iai: y they shui}; ajconf, ^tits rose buishus or the 
Pitheceloblnjfl '.-.edge,, or b tha den:^Gr ioliage of 
Tabernaemont?na and ^r-:^l£.^J'JaJrJ-jl^t but the coi^iic display 
was e^recutcd in tho opoLi though -in t'le vicijiity of aover. 
On one occasion th:.?y :;a:.lel be each .ither rrom the hranchfjs 
of a TQango tree aj^d a iP!:l,c_i^ £il'^ej;:atj. , 

VJhen I saw^the displ^j^ the floc^ had broken up and 

a pair had taken, up residence in cur -.'.ompound . I don't 
.remember whatlEir the other .momtiers oi the iTLock continued 
to haunt the vicinity of our ctmpoui.d or hs,! left aljso" 
gether- (l have omitted to record it .-.n my notes^ unfortu- 
nately) , 


The display Is long, aid^after a t^iIIq begins to taz 
"the observers patiGJicCj somewhat;. I saw it spread. oTor 
twc eonsecutive days and thai too^ I ^^a unable to see 
them actually maiiiiig inspite of long vigils, G^herefore, 
it "vjas also impossible to tell the male and female apart, 
except that one shov/-ed a greater tendency to follow the 
other around- 

Ihis low e'ffectiveness of the dispiay, if one can call 
it that, involving a high e:cpenditure of energy, mth rela- 
tively low 'returns' or success, combined with the elemental 
and unelaborated nature of the dieplayj is again suggestive 
of primltiveness. 

One may conjecture that other tax of blj:ds went 
on to achieve greater behavioural sophistication. , by 
elaboration on this 'basic plan^ j to give rise to the 
enormous diversityj complexity and even ingenuity of disp- 
lay that we witness in the bird tjorld today. 

The sirkeer cuckoo and the likes of it, may have 
retained their elementary and simple display, because ths 
crLvirORmait did not place sufficient selection pressures 
on theiDs to requii^e them to 'change or die'. In this context, 
it VJill be i.iteresting to examine the worldwide distribution 
of the sirkeer cuckoo and it^ s closest raLatives- I would 
like to know if this taxon is e^-dcoiic to the Indian sub- 
continent or not or othervjiso how far it's range extends. 
It would be illuminating to knon^r more about it^s nesting 
habits, ^fliich are it's closest relatives? 

From t'he freciuency with which our pair visited a 
Bouqainvillea thicket we suspected that they had a nest 
there (on the ground)* but wo have never could locate it, 
Further studios were cut short by our return to the 
University for the next session- 

I hope someone can make something out of all this- _. . 

Edi tor 5_ nQte : The Genus TACCOOITA has only one species 
though there are three foiiQB » and as far as I can make out 
from references it is confined to India* The Handbook 
Vol, III p. 254 saysf 'Courtship display Gon^istE of a 

ludicrous repeated bomng (or bobbing) by one bird of a 
pair (in one case verified as female) before the other 

„ at other times both birds partaJcp in these 

antics with eq,i:ai enthusiasiam-, , . .* , It is r on- parasitic 
and the nest consists of an uat:Ldy saucer of twigs lined 
with green leaves, normally between 2 to 5 metres front 
the groun'd-' 



Birdviat ching at Sheelai h^ronarv^ by P.,S> Thqkkfir -■ 
In June 1978 Mr -H-K! •Sabbarao , former Asst. Education Officer 
^^ . l^ature Clubs of India, WV/F-I , md myseir were in search of 
^ Bome Interea-tiing places for educational excursions for 
the Nature Clubs, After ■tsrandering at matiy places one day 
, we noticed a large aiixed heronary on an island in the 
' "Village tank of Sheolaj , 

When we saw opentiilled storks we got confused - their 
■ '^Identity idth White storks, But it was too "early in the 
season to see the .migratory white storks. 

After this instance the place becarae a pilgrimage for 
the bird watchers ot the city and other ornithologists 
also visited the place- (Y,H. Ghhaya JTewsletter for 

Birdwatchers April igeo)- 

I have been visiting this area quite often during the 
last three years. In the beginning there were five Babul ' 
trees (Acacia ar.a'bj.j^a i and one young 3ami tree ( Prosopi s 
BplCT^g^za) on the laLand in the tank. However the nest© 
of various freshwater birds were only on the Babul trees. 
The Sami tree did not have even a single nest on it, and 
till today the situation is the same - 

The heronary seeios active only during June to December, 

and from January to Hay one is unable to find any stork 

or Ibis, i'he birds generally encountered during the breed-- 

ing season are; 

Openbilled storks, - 

White Ibis, Painted Storks 
and Little egrets. 

Besides, I have observed white necked storlc in .the 
month of Septombcr'SO in the tank and a group of tlakta 
in th^ water ne^^r the island in October 1980, 

On 14th September 19S0 I witnessed a pair of pied"" 
crested cuckoos on the babul trees around the tank„ 
I-loreover for the first time, on 5rd Hay 1981, the presence 
'Of Hight herons at the heronary was noticed. 

Recently, I visited the heronary on 20th May' 81 
Mr,B,M,Parasharya. The hca-onary was reduced in strength ' 
because one Babul troe was cut do-^m- Inhere wcro nests on 
the other threo Babul trees eaoh havitig 65-70 nests. 


!IMii:s Bpdt -was supposed -W'bc developed by WWF'-Indla, 
Sorth Gujarat Branch (U.hl.GhJiay^i, KLBW April, 1980). 
Ho^/ever it >jas distressing to find that ttiorc viaa not a 
single sign of dovclopment in the form of B*?-y tree or 
■ Sapling or any pictiTre ot fii^ "board of the birds. 

P^lg t _c ast i ngjbj j- B .ee-.ea t .^B, ..b^ X '^ aj\:b bg ram _t . .. , 1Q,_,L el_tj:i 
gast le SQutb_3tj^ , Sant h ome,. _ Madras 60Q Q£8: 1 was under tHe 
impression tbat pellet casting was strictly restricted to 

-the raptons and Owla. So 1 v^s very surprised on 21st 
August, 1981 -when the beeater (s^Ierops orientalis) t>iat 1 
■was -watching at Adyar Ilstuary for quite soiTietiioe suddenly 
open itE mouth as 1:l it vjas yavjriing end bring out a pellet 
and dropped down to the ground. I later examined the 
pellet and found it to be an elongated one, black in colour, 

-/consisting of some material vhich I could not identify 
but could hav-e been some insect vangs and other hard 
indigestible items, The siso of the pellet vas about that 
of a small peanut. 

When this was-, mentioned .to Prof .K»E,Keelalcantan, he 
■ wrote_back the follovd-ng; 'I .have seen the common l^Iyna 
and the Ecel bringing up undigested matter and casting it 
lOut through the mouth. Also the Green sandpiper and the 
commoii sandpiper. Pellet casting is perhaps much more 
"■ vd^espread than tho books si::^geati 

1 would be glad if any one could, thrt>w, further light 
on this matter. . - . 

The Bank Myna t Ayridotheree gl-nfl^nianus ) and Eing Crow 
iDlcrui^s ^simi ljIsT preylnj upon the cricket Achgt a 
(Orthopters:Cryllidae) ; pv R.N ■ Bhargava, Zoolo-'^io^-,- S_Uj;'g;i3y 
Q iL_Indj ^ a_^, £aota 3 .Road ...Jodjrpu r - During an intensive survey 
of crickets in and around Asop village ca, 75 t™ K- of 
Jodhpur on 3rd' July, 1981 the Bank Hyna and Eing Grovr were 
^ 'Irectuently observed and the former outnumbered the latter* 
Interestingly, Bank Mynas were found to be scarce or totally 
absent in places -vathin a few k.ilometers of this village. 
Cricket were collected from crevices of cracked mud in a 
dry ephemeral pond whose excavation by villagers to increase 
the water storage capacity wB.e in progress- ^ince crickets 
took shelter de&p in crevices fo tide over e^itreme heat of 
the day T dunng di^'i^ing a good maibGr of them came out, 
hopped and flew in all directicais, The active pursuit 


of tb_e prey by the liunters was obsorvad both on the ■ 
groiAnd and in the air. King Grows either percbed quitely 
on Acacia trees for loiig periods, or rode on the bade of 
gi-asifig cowSt whsraas the BaP-k Myna mostly on the ground, 
BOmetimes picld-ng Up crumbs stre^fli by people in the 
vicinity. While the Myna flew smftly and actively chased 
the cricket, the King Crov either patiently ^/aitcd for the 
luckless -.dc^iii to chance ^dthiii their grasp or sallied <^ 
out from selected perches in quest of the tjinged insect- ■ 
The prey caught in the beafc was carried on a branch of 
tree, torn to pieces and devoured, 

-It was an interesting apeetacle to abserve Myna 
showi^Tg much cunniug in locating, stalking ,and spearin^^ ' 
the prey even In the crevice in their striking reach, 
3)lie Kyna could easily perceive even slight movement .of the 
cricket, Vbile the cricket remained comparatively safe 
from attack aa long as it remained motionlese often assuiQ- 
ing a most innocent and iimocuous posture^ its slightest 
movement sealed its fatev 


Observations on the Southern Ooucal Oent ro_rius slnseal^ 
feeding on the satrscaled viper _Echi-g .carina tus , liy 
■^,VenugopaT_T.. T^es^a-pflh Scholar, De-pt- nf Zoolngv. Universitv 
af Calicut, EerpJ.a-67'5 6^*5 = On 27,1-1981 at noon I ^/aa 
follomng a Southern CoucaL . At 12,56 it spotted a saw- 
scaled viper, Irtimodiately the bird jumped and raja after 
the snake. On reachirsg the snake it began pecking at the 
snakes head- Finally it managed to kill the snake. Then 
it "began slowLy swallo-wiQg the snake, ^d-th the head-end of 
the snake first > The pr:iGess of swallowing took about 35 
minutes (from 12, 4S to 15-23), It t:as observed that the 
GoucaL swallowed the snake only when the former waa on the 
ground. In the midst of Swallomng, when I chased the bird 
in order to have a good view, it fle-tj to a nearby tree with 
the half'Swallowed snake^ There it perched for about 8 
minutes without atjallo/ing. The swallowing action vas 
reaumed ciily after the bird deaended to the ground. 

Sto-Q Preas .. f r om_Qr,.'^ J J^ ^cord-breaking Sponsore d Birdwatch ; 
The Britiah record for bird apecies spotted in a single day 
was broken on May 11 [after Ory^ had gone to press) by teams 
from ffPS and CountrvJ^ i f ^ magazine, competing in a 
sponaored birdwatch- Country Life won 146-143 » both scores 


exceeding "the trcq-jtO. of 135 seii laEt year, sIbo 'by Country 
L if s . In all, 159 species vrere Hated, and each bird had 
to be sesn by all maDbers of the taam* 

ffPS was represente'i'"by John' Q~66d'eTB, authoT of 
ssTeral books on. birds; Cliff 'iJ^ler, V/arden of 
Walb ersv-jick Kation^ ITature Reserve; Tim Inskipp of 
the VS-ltllifs Trade Monitoring Unit; and Eill Oddie, 
best kno-^vn as one of BEG' 5 The Go odie s but also an 
QXperleiiced ornithologist- Between bird number one, a 
ta-vmy Owl at 5.25 aiii » and a haxn okL at ID pm, the tesm 
covered about 500 miles of East jLUglia^ using an- Aston- " 
Martin donated by the manuf aoturer* ' 

Country Li fg j led by David Tomlinsonj the mngazine^a 
Assistant Mltor, started at Berapton Cliff in Yorkshire 
and eventually drove 600 mileSj but trailed for loost of 
the day until reaching the Bii?B reserve at Snettisham,- 
where spoonbill, gargeney, whimbrel , scaup and ehort- 
eared Oijl took the teajQ well into the 140s and the lead. 
Co unt ry L i f e also saw the day^ s rarest species, two glossy 
ibis at r-Tinsmere, 

- ' -- ' ' ;i- 

. The event rai&ed about €3000 for various wxld3!ife 
charities,, includin-g the. Ory^^ 100 ^ Fund, and will be 
repeated ne^t ^ear- Eurther^detailS ^ri-ll be published Iel 
the September Oryj: . . , , . - ; 



Editor: Zafar Futehally 

Dodda Gubbi Postn Via, Vidyanagar, Bangalore - 562 134 
Annual Sjbscription Rs t5/- 

Cover Pictuie : Blacktailed Godwit (Limosa limoaa) 
Photo by i E. Hanumantha Rao ^ 

Newsletter for 

VOL XXI NO. 11 NOV. 1981 

t..9^- !J 

--.. -^ 

>. " 


■. ■■■*^^ - 



] .-- 


Vol .XXI 

Ho, 11 

JiJovcantier 1981 


©iitorial - A request to subscribers - Dura-tion" of', 'the 


Birding in Kerala by Oliver H* Aehiord 
Blrdwatcbing^iiVj J.&pan- by Aamir Ali 

. Birdtje-tcliing in Dubai by Ashok Eiimar 


to en.'sure that tlie i^Tewsletter is correctly ^dd.; 

ni'ailed to ell subficzibers, "A chartge in staff J 

man office has ri^s^iited in great 

yo'j vho msh to Eiu'iJf^cri'be to the 

serid. in your subecriptions !TO'i\'; 

■vjrite In year afidressec -with the 

piece of papei? ■',jl:ich I \±H file 



'essod and 
n my one 
confusion- lail all of 
^iewsletter in 19S2 please 
and -would j-ou kindly 
pin code on a separate 
appropriately. Many 

]^uration of the IT.strslqtt Q ?-^ I vrae gratified to find that 
many subsciihera insist on continuing the Kewslstter on 
a monthly bases. I -will try and do so, but this will 
partly depend on the number of subscribers in 1982, 
advertiSQBents^ donations, and the secretarial help 1 sjn 
able to muster* There have been many kind offers but 

to be d^ne by me and 
assistant is not in sigh±. 

ffiuch of the work has necessarily 
my assistant. At tfee moment the 


Birding in Kerala b? O liver M. Ashford, 4 Treble !Tpn_f^» , 

;Blji^i:x^DldcQtj^_.Oxfor!iShixQ OX I IQ lit. TT,K . : Last 

Pebruaiy mj mte and I had the good fortune to spend 12 
days birding in Kerala ^sith Professor K.IdTeelakantan of 
i:rivandrum and Dr» Anna Mani of Bangalore- If our object 
had been to see as many different birds as possible in 
the time availablcj ^'je would doubtless have had to spend 
many weary hours driving along hot dusty roads, leather 
than that, we decided to conoentx-ate our efforts on just 
two locations, Ponmudi and Thekkady, Even so we identi- 
fied about 160 different species, which itself gives some 
indication of the richness of bird life in Eerala, In 
the present article, I will limit myself to some of the 
highlights of the trip. 

Ponmudi is a Mil station, about 40 miles by load 
(good surface a],l the way) from Tri-randrum, our base. 
By setting out early in the morning, we were able to h^r 
and see a lot of bird activity on the way^ especially 
after entering the forest beyond Eiallar. Two well- 
signpoEted picnlfl areas by the river looked full of promise 

anil this ^^s fulfilled when i-re retailed Istei- at leisure. 
For us J ona of tliG most exciting "birds here was the Fairy 
Bluehird, notable ioT Its varied calls, usually of t^'o 
noteSj as well as for its fine colouring. We were also 
attracted by the flycatchers, drongos snd. hulbuls , The 
beautiful 4-5 note song of the Rubythroated lellow Bulbulj 
which T had not previously encountered, was heard repeat- 
edly hut the bird itself was tantalisingly hard to pick 
out in the dense foliage. As go often happens, once I 
had been shown my first, I had litHe difficulty in see- 
ing several more._ V7e also had a clear but fleeting view 
of a G-rey headed uulbul , not so colourful as its relative 
but soDieho-^j more elegant- 

From the second picnic spot a trail climbs several 
miles through the jungle Up towards the Ponmudi Resthouse- 
On one occasion we follovred it soHie distance and were 
re^^iarded for our efforts by our first Whitethroated Ground 
Thrush, remarkable for ita black and v^_ite face pattern, 
later we watched one of these birds vigorously strirring 
up some dead leaves in search of food. Uearby was a fruit- 
lad^ tree which attracted birds of Several species; the 
comiLionest ^^^as the Yellowbrowed Bulbul , but there was also 
a Blueheaded Rock Thrush, some brilliant orioles and 
another V]h=ite-throated Ground Thrush. The area is also 
good for woodpeckers, some of which are easier to separate 
by their calls rather thaa by their appearance. This 
applies to the Malabar Goldenbacked Threetoed Woodpecker 
(why cannot we devise a less clumsy English nomanclature 
for these birds?), n^hose screaias were heard several times 
before vre finally had a clear view of one climbing up a 
tree trunk. We also bad (jUr first glimpse of a small 
Yello^maped Woodpecker (we_were later to see one being 
harassed at its nest by a Jungle Plyna), Galling from a 
distance was a Plaintive Guckoo, so aptly named. 

The Piesthouse is prom.inently located on open ground 
above the forest and we regretted that the new buildings 
did not blend better mth the magnificent landscape. 
Fortunately the staff match the landscape rather than the 
architecture; rarely have I been so vjell looked after. The 
grounds command a panoran^io view of the surrounding count- 
ryside mth ridge after ridge of mountains, each becoming 
fainter in the distance until the land finally merges with 
the sky- It seemed to be an ideal place for observing 
raptors, hut the few that we saw proved difficult to 
Identify. Eor example, the harriers were mainly female 
which to me are so alike that I am reluctant to give them 

a specific HEme, Tiiere \-is.B the occaBional Blaol: j^gle, 
one o:f vjhich -was aoen ahasing a pair of bussards (probably 
Desert Busaards?), The Eooted Eagles were relativ&Lj- 
easy to identify, thanks to tlielr white undervd^ige tath 
"black trailing ed^'es. lEsier still were the Black^dnged 
Kites, one of which had greeted, us on our arrival at 
TrivandrUm airport. 

Beyond the Resthouse the road contiriuea for only a 
mile or ti-jo to the niins of an old buildin^l from there 
one can walk for miles across open h^-lly country in all 
directions, Vj'ith the increase iri altitude the miaiber of 
birds became fewer and even in some luxuriant sholas we 
saw little apart frozn numerous Black Bulbuls and a 
solitary Small Sunbird, readily distinguished from its 
relatives by its sise alone- Overhead we saw some Alpine 
Swifts, surely one of the most ^ffortleas fliers of then 
all. At duet and at dawn we heard the mechanical engine- 
line Ghuk-oo, Chuk-oo, Chuk-oo ,.,, of the Jungle Night- 
jar but the light was too poor for seeing theiri well- 
On our second day "we went by oar to seme tea and rubber 
estates ;just off the main road. Here we tvere at first dis- 
appointed but then, suddenly, we were in among the birds, 
several of which were new- A Soathem Treepie flew across 
the valley displaying its enoiEious black and white tail, 
?or Sheer beauty, however, thero wae nothing tc beat the 
numerous Bluetjinged Parakeets, their pale heads and undoi^ 
parts contrasting mth their blae wings and tails, A 
male Greyfronted Green Pigeon obligingly let us study the 
delicate tone of the green of Its lower parts and the rceroon 
of its back and vlngs, Jiore difficult to see was a Spegkled 
Piculet, distinguished from the Pygmy Woodpecker (-.^hich we 
s^w later in Thekkady) by having dairk spots on its lower 
parts rather than streaks. By this tiro e a Black Eagle was 
(luartering the shola on the hillside, looking for its 
breakfast; it Sailed majestically over the treetops without 
a single flap of its vjings , 

One morning ^-jc set out before da^^ and had some 
e^fcellent views-of the nightjars sitting on the road, 
their eyes reflecting our car headlights, This is also' 
the time of day to see the Indian Pitta by the roadside: 
we were able to approach quite close in the car before 
they became disturbed and were tlius able to appreciate 
the wonderful range of their colours. We never saw these 
birds later in the day - only the early birder gets the 
Pittal We also heard a loud whis-fi.ed rendering of 'London's 
burning^ aiLd after some se--rGhing we found the perfoiiner, 

none other than -'chB Malabar 1^1 stlin^^sS^^ Shortly 
after entering the jungle we left the car and contmued 
dom the lilll to the picnic apot on foot, Birde were 
singing all around ub ^ut mthout Professor tJeolaKantan' s 
expert guidance tre would never Iiave been able to sort 
them out. It was he who identified the call ox the 
Malabar Trogon and then showed us the bird, sitting on 
a branch, almost invisibly cajROuflaged in spite of its 
brilliant red underparts, 

We broke our jjourney back to Trivandrujn for a ^jalk 
up the river at KaLlar, The biotope looked right for 
kingfishers and sure enough we ijatiraately picked out our 
one and only Blackcanped Kingfisher sitting on a rock, 
enjoying its fish breakfast. Our loute then took us 
north to Kottayam irhere we speid the night before an early 
moxning start for Thekkady- On a good surface this SO- 
mile stretch could be covered easily in a couple of hours, 
in spite of all the hills and curves; unfortunately road 
works were in progress [very slow progress^) most of the 
way. The resulting oombinstion of dust, fumes and bumps 
made the journey something of a 4-hour nightmare but it 
was worth it, for 0!hekk&dy-is not only beautiful but also 
full of birds. 

The very comfortable hotel, AranyaHivas, is surrounded 
by trees through" wlrLch one c^n just catch a glimpse of the 
vast artificial laJce, Here there is little need for a car 
as a great -variety of biotopes - jungle, lakeshore, meadow 
and strea^TL -^ can easily be explored on foot. Md of course 
the best time to do this is in the early morning. As we 
set out on our first such -walk, both Barred Jungle OvfLet 
and Collared Scope Owl were still calling and a Whitenecked 
Stork could just be sem against the bri^jhtening sky, 
standing on its nSSt ready to fly off in search of food 
for its four young. Sut our biggest thrill was to occur 
wb-ile ve were standing in an open grass-covered vall^" 
with jungle on either side- G-rey Junglefowls vere making 
a great din all along the edge of the trees and d^sens of 
Grey Hombills vjere flying across the uallev' , flapping 
their wings several times and then gliding- Suddenly we 
heard a Stashing sound and, looking up, we saw aii mormons 
bird crossing the meadov and making an audible swish each 
time it flapped its tangs. It landed on the same banyan 
tree as some of the C-rey Hombills and proceeded to devoui? 
vast quantities of fruit. The pied colouring and large 
casqued bill tol'd us that we were watching our first G-reat 
Indian Komblll, Hardly had ve recovered fi-om the shock 
when three large black birds tath white rumps and under- 
parts flew over; they were the only Great _Black 

W^odpeckors that irfi sav on the -idiole trip. Curing^ a lio.1 

xn all this excitement I tUrnod my "binoculars onto somg 
pipits, ■ niere seemed to be t^j^'eparate species, tlie 
smaller oneB being mo^Bj brown and tlie l^rg^T -'i^tinctlj- 
tawny? biit in tlie end I lumped them all together as. 
subspscies-of Hichaxii^s .Pipit - the astute reader ^dll 

already have deduced that I 
BUb species. 

am not very interested i-n 

"Oris of ''tlie ra^ir^ to\irist at t inactions of 'I'hdilEady is 
the 2-3 hour boat trip to the d^jn siid bs-ck, looking ou-t 
for-idld animals. On thJ.s trip the cojooionest birds i.jere 
the Hartere, standing on branches, of dead trees -with tE^eir. 
wings held out to dry in the eajrly morning sun* Cther- 
wise_we saw little of interest apart frcai a Stoi^billed 
Singfisher (what a bill Oi several Osprsya and a Pallid 
Harrier - a spendid male, at last. On our way back two 
elephants st^ara across the lake just in frcmt of us" a^id 
displayed their displeasure at our intrusion hy making 
some terrifying noiaes after landing safely on the other 

To me, the Bid'et facinating outings ±n Thekkady were ~ 

the jungle walks, during which we were in the' safe hands 
of an excellent tracker kindly provided by the Assistant 
midlife Officer. Id-th a" 'grouD of five it proved difficult 
to ranain silent for long, but" how woi^th \^ile it was when 
we eucceededl It i-ras thus that we h^i^d a slight rustling 
among some dead leaves on "the jungle iloor. Thai we 
picked out the birds and finally, as th^ walked along a ' 
fallen tree trunk, we saw from the chestnut cap and the 
■heavily spotted underparts that they were Spotted Babblers, 
Shorlly afterwards i.^e had a simiXar encounter with .a group 
of Wynaad Laughing Thmshes, distinguished by their chest- 
nut wings and back pjid the grey breast qontrastirxg with 
the tdiite throat, Many birds are more spectacular than 
these skulking forest' species but none can provide a 
greater thrill. Another jungle thrill came WT^ien 'Br.Kani 
pointed out a blaok bird sitting near the top of a ^ree, 
I saw a black crest and some black and i^ite bars on tiie, 
breast and concli^d^ that it must be a Blackcrested Basa, 
which would have be^ a life bird fo.r Professor I^TeelakantaA. 
Bnt"he waa some distance away at .this time and the bird had 
flown before he coiad join us. Thanks to some skillful- 
stalking, he evmtually picked one out and then ^ to cac 
it all, a flock of four flew past ^ust above the treeijops, 
A few minutes later, crossing the meadow on our way back 
to ths hotel, we flushed a large enipe, or ^.jas it a 
woodcock? We carefully noted its shape, sise, behaviour 



and maTkings 3ixd. from the "books ^e dacid© faat it raust 
have been a Wood Enipe. This vjas coniinaed next day,-wtLeQ 
we saw what was presmoably the same tird at cluSe quarters 

"-, I tr:)Uld like to feel that these inadequate notes on 
two' wonderful locs'^tiQna vTill encourage other birders to 
visit theti,- Good birdin^i 

hv AcUi^lr Ali, 14 _ch.-_^ 

BiX^JaJ chi r-g_j-_n fla paJ^ . 

Toursll.e^ - l gQS_. ^-^ie.^g'-- Everything that one doe 

_ in Japan 

a special flsA^our - and I am not merely referring to 

has ^ ^^^. . -, 

the eating of raw fish ^ Shopping, going to a restaurant^ 
having a hair out, taking a bus, wslking in the park - 
they "are all a little diff ereiit from anywhere else. Md 
so TQ^th hirdwatching> 

I waa spending a week in Tokyo in early October and 
had in introduction from Salim Hi to Yoshimaro Yamashina, 
Director of the T^jaashina Institute of Ornithology, I 
also £ot hold of a copy (borrowed) of Dr-Yamashina' 



Birds in.Ja-pan , (By pure "coinoidenae, a few days af ter .1 
got back to Geneva, VJhen to clear out sane old 
conies of the BiJIlS Journal to gain more shelf space, I 
Saw that Dr.Yajnasliina had contributed an article on 
Q uail Bree ding in.J a p an to the April 1961 issue of the 
Journal, (Incidentally ^ of course 1 didn't manage to gain 
any shelf space but spent a pleasant couple of hours in 
not 'achieving anything.). 

' As a result of the introduction, Mr.i^lasashi Yoshii, 
Chief, Bird ^Hgratloa Centre of the Yamashina Institute 
came to fetch me on Sunday morning- Porty five mintjtes 
by local train and bus brought us to the Ooi Bird Sanctu- 
ary. This is a very speoial and interesting place, The ■ 
Vaid Bird aociety of Japan and some other conservation 
groups persuaded the Tokyo govemiaent to develop the 
area as a sanctuary. The govemxoent reclaimed some ^.26 
hectares of lend, ""planted 14,000 trees and bushes of 90 
different species. The sanctuary was opened in 197S and 
is managed by the Vaid Bird Society, It receives about 
25 J 000 people a year, and on Sundays there are often 
over 70C. 95 species of birds have been recorded and 6 ■ 
have nested, there- 

It is situated within cd ty liniits- There are faetorLes 
on. the outskirts, c. huge elevated^'super highway being 
completed on one side, the Eaneda airport -and the sea 

nearby. So ^en you are tiyiiig to tooua on s Blade tailed 
(xUll, you are juet as li-kely to" find ycjrScXf admiring a 
Boeing 707 about 'Lo laiid, ot a freighter mov-ing lesiurelv 
slong, its funnels and ntasts shov.lng above thg reeds. The 
md Bird Societjr ^ante to oilarg© the sanctuary to about 
70 hect^ee, presumably by reclaiming loore land* 

Incidentally, isn^t this sort of mini -- sanctuary a 
possibility iQ India? In Swltseriand "there seame to be 
a JnQ^e to turn" abandoned quarries and other such unlikoLv 
places into natural reserves. Giv^ a fev; years respite 
nature asserts itself again forcefully in these desQcratk 
areae . 

To turn to Ooi. At the entrance there^s the head- 
quarters with the inevitable shop, (Ve were glad to see 

that Hr.Yoshii^s book was on sale.) There is also a sort 
o± large circular barricade \P-th ^brasures at various 
heights. It looked like one of those forts you see in 
western films from -which the US cavalry shoots do^ the' 
naughty Indians who treacherously resist the taking over 
of their habitat by palefaoee. Some of these embrasures 
vere_ already arraod vath telescopes placed th^re for the 
public to use, others had birdtratchors glued to them ^rith 
their own binoculars. 


— fxont was a pond usually harbouring jnany water- 
lowl, now,_ It was almost empty because sci^e rogue school 
boy had frightened them off - most ULi-Japanes e behaviour. 

Mr- Toahii^^ task v,-as to deliver me to a birdwatchin^ 
group that was having its Sunday outing in the sanctuary. 
ihe Sfoup had ^one on ahead, so we went after them, Mr.Yoshil 
idmtifying the q^XI cf a Bull-headed Shrike, laSus buce- 
phalus on the way, Thi^ is one of the six s^ec^^that " 
h^s bred m the sanctuary. It is ziot motioned in the 
Handbook ao presumably is not found in India. 


, I Tflas expecting a group 

^c caught up with than, I 

of eight or ten persona, 
sav? a vast concourse of 


perhaps seventy people. They Tj^re all a^es, 7 

male and fouale, fat and thin, tall and short. 

uniTeraal identification sign of a bird-watchor 

course the pair of binoculars slung around hie 

Japanese species had a further diagnostic siiig - a talcr- 

scope and tripod c^n.rried on the shoulder. 

been more lens power concentrated ^in that 

Saudi Ararbian A^ilLlS plane. 

to 70, 
The ■ 
is of 



There must have 
area ttaii on a 

Mr-Yoshii iTi-':roduced me to a young fisheries student, 
Eari Hokiyo Taka? '■/^hosa duty it becarae to look after me 
most solicitously. But, alaa , his engLish ^ns almost as 
limited as ray Japanese. I was also i^iimediately introduced 
to the one foreigner i-ho -was ^dth the group, a young 
englishman called Jonas (Jones?) He had spent three years 
in Japan and vas iiamediately appointed Lord High Inter- 
preter- He was g journalist viltin^ a book about places 
around Tokyo to visit on veekendBj tiiioh is why he "was 
on this outing. So, though his Japanese T^e good, it 
did not stretch to the nanes of birds. 

Sveryone was Iielpiul and triendly and this manifested 
iteelf in important practical teiras when lunchtime came 
alorg and I was the only one '^thout a picnic. 

From the birding point of view^ it was not a - "' 
particularly outstanding outing, I saw about 18-20 species 
Wien I first came upon the group, one platoon of about 25 
watchers was concentrated on a clump of trees. An Arctic 
warbler, Phylloscopus borealis, -i^s obligingly flittiiig 
about and remained there long enough to give everyone a 
chance of looking at it. It looked like any other warbler, 
hut its special call (which I didn't hear) identified it. 
The Arctic traxbler is Dientioned, though not illustrated, 
in the Handbook, and is presuaiGbly a winter visitor to 
India . 

Mostly we concentrated on water birds. The most 
common was the Black tailed &ull, Larus crassiroatris, 
with a black band across the tail and a yellow bill tipped 
in red and black- The Japanese name for this is 'umi neko' 
which means ^sea cat' because it mews like a cat. It 
really does. I was told that this gull was specifically 
Japanese. I did not find mention of it in the Handbook 
or in the Field G-uides for Europe or the eastern United 
States; however, it is referred to in the Guide to Birds 
of eastern America as being found in Japan and China, and 
as an accidental in California. 

There were also Black headed Gulls, ^ioh are the 

common ones around Geneva. 

Greenshanks wsi*e fairly common. One of thean had got 

entangled in a bit of fishing line left lying around - 
next to birdwatching , fishing tjas the most popular pastime 
at Oci , It was caught and disentangled and ttjen taken off 
to the I'anger^s office as-'ita leg had been dar&aged by the 
twine. Incidentally several vnembers of the bird^?atching 


group ^ere bue^r picjd.n^ up bits ot fxshing line and other 
del^ris vhich mi^ht caa^e difficul-tios for birdfi ot dis- 
figure the sanctuary- 

V;e ££.w a Ghi;.-.3Se Little 3itteni, Izobryciiat; sinaisifi , 
standing motionleG"& amoii^ tbe reeds; small, yellowish brown 
with a blsclc }iead. Amongst other birds seen were Teals, 
Coots, JTi^.t Heroas, Pintails, Dabchicks, Sr^ipes , Little 
S^rete. Onc-e a flocl: of about eight little ^^'rets rose 
and ilew in formation, white against the bine autumn sty, 
looking just liJce a Japanese pai^iting. Cries of JLJjca^'.ds&u 
^leh, ^^gjL_d^Aj__n^hp broke out from several of the i^rou-o: 
Isn't it beautif la^- ^ 

In mid afternoon, the \iiole s^roup sai; down quietly on 
the ground while t\;0 experts talked to ±hm about the birds 
-they had seen- Evcjryone made assiduous notes. 

And then some started home^^ards while others went off 
to try their luck in another part of the sanctuary- 

lioino arigato gosaimaabita- 

|Lrd_i^tc>.iflg^n.i>ub„^Jb:,^J^^ [Power 

Sooi^dixi^. P.-P.-^AQ^^^Q^^.^ub^ai.,,AU4^:S^; Wlien I first 
came to Dubai froK India tirjo years ago, if soj.joone had sugg- 
ested that Eerioi.-.s birdwatching tjas possible in this 
desert, I would have thought hint touched in the head- 
Admittedly one sai; a fair number of Rock Pigeons (Coluraba 
liviaj but these i^ere domesticated or feral . Around the 
souqs, bazaars th£t is and else'.iiere House sparrows were 
numerous, but once again that did not amount to great bird 
watching, I even missed the thieving common crows CCorvus 
spiendens) which were so numerous as to be a nuisance n^r 
my last home in India and to ^.iiom I often lost my break- 
fast eggs. The only mid bird to be seen around Dubai in 
sorae numbers was a Dove, The description came closest to 
what we call the Little Brown Dove (Streptopclia senegale- 

V'tl ^^ miniature 'Chessboard^ ijattern on either side 

ox -cue neck as seen in the Indian specimens was replaced ^ 
here by a crGScer^t shaped pattern of black dots j^st below 
-cne throat, in some birds these dots were absent or barely 
visible, I assumed this bird to be another snecie of Dove 
not icnown to us in India. Soiae months later I found tbis 
bird displayed in the Dubai Soo described as the Palm Dove, 
and to my surprise bearing the same latin name as the Littl© 
JBrown Dove. To me i:he variation in neck marking pattern ' ' 


appeared suf tici etitly different requiring cl assificatiOTi 
of the Palm Dov.e as a separate subspGcie- Uofortunately, 
I could not carry out the ooraparlsion in groa-j;er detaiij 
and hope to do that ono ox these days. 

It was in I^larch thjLs yea:f that I was ahle to get in 
touch >ath a few other bird-watchers and learn that the 
Gulf -was an important staging point on the migration route 
of birds oro3Si>ig over from Europe to Africa for vjinter< 
It was then, that I discovered that in the idnter months 
the United Arab Siirates is quite rich in bird life- 

One of the most interesting spots for birdwatching is 
tile Saffa park of Du'oai * The park -was estahlisli&d a few 
years ago by overlaying desert sand with soil ti-ought from 

outside- Manure and water lias to he heavily applied to 
sustain the park which is mai::3ly a grassland with a few 
scattered young trees and oushea* Just as the park 
attracts human holiday makers by the thousand during ivinter 
monthSj it attracts migrating birds as well- Before the 
park was built, the hirds must have stopped wherever they 
Gould find a little food and water ^ich must have been, 
scarce, Ijovj the park provides them mth insects to eat 
and also seeds of various grasses and shrubs. The park 
is profusely watered by sprinlvlers. For identification 
the moat useful hook is 'Birds of Britain and Ifurope -vith 
Worth Africa and the Middle Ifeist^ (Collins). As xas^aj 
Species from the Indian suhcoaitinent are also to he seen 
a book on Indian birds is eo.ually necessary. 

One morning, I was admiring the vast stretch of gold 
and green gj^asa on which dew was glistening in ^rly sun. 
Suddenly a small cloud of yellov^r descended infront of me# 
This \ia.s a miiKied party of wagtails. Blue headed, Yellow 
and Citrine - Motacilla flava and citreola. In this 
country we also get the more common Vnite Wagtail(M,alba) 
in winter months. These are' seen inside the to^ms ■v;herever 
there is a patch o^: grass and water, hut "at least in one 
instance on the roof of a high rise huildlng in dovjntown 
Dubai, A leaky water pipe attracted a pair to that place 
several times a day. 

If .an industrial designer and a 'colour consultant 
were asked to use all iiieir imagination and vivid hues to 
create a beautifully designed, colourful bird, I do not 
think they could improve upon the Bee-eater (Merops 
apiaster) which oombines in" wonderful Mroioney blue^ green, 
red, Isuon, orange, brown and many intertnediate shades. 



Itiea there is the atrUcing mascara line through the eve 
and on trie throat, i-rankly, I imd not ho^ ^S sTe f^j^d 
euch as this in tho cieE^ert. Yet thore thlT^elelM I^ 
.a n^ber aue corning, at the Saxfa Pai-v peLLron.r 
Accaoia, and quite truly it looked as if the tree had bne» 

the Blue -Cheeked Be-eater M, auperclliosuB) which iJs 
Ui-onentaj-is) iaaiiliar to ue in India. 

Is of 

Of other birds common to India, the Hoopoe "(Upma econBl 

It is ?^t ^"^'^T' *° ^^^^^ ^^^^ '■ P^^* °^ theirlorl! ^^ 
rLif/^v, ^^ tMoughoat the ..Inter. Ooa^on mynafs 

Uoridotheres tristi^) have beai seen nesting in the Lffa 

iensiaj make thear appearance with the advert of the t-oM 
season ana remain ,ath us aliaoB-. till June C sSuth 

sLllo's-^i C^^ts,^Vfcea^aars.,.^ppit. harJ.s, Shrikes, 

+h J^-^^'t^^ ^ ^^'^ P°"^ ^^ ^^e pjiddle of the park, iihen 
Teal S^^» ^' ^^lous times 1 have seen the C-argenr 

here'lor THMl'/'t- 'f ^"f ^' "^^^ ''''^' pcaSy stop 
Plantpfl^,= S ■ '■'"^® certainly make use of all ne^Ly 

T]ie upper end of the Dubai creek which has Bh-^ll r.^ 

"orseSo/"'St'' '^ extensively us ed bf ^erf S't°h\ 

Lt.Mr^2^°^ "^ ^^^-^ outskirts of Du^i^??™! rty bii.i " 

5 V^^fS-? -- ^-^- t.;raZ^o-iS: so 

gi^L- thfSi^, '''''° ?^^' ""^" ^^"^^ ^^^- Sstl" of 


It is possible that I may have conveyed tte impression 
that this place is a bird watchers paradise. Kothiijg could 
T:ie X urttier from the truth- " For the moet part of the year, 
all we see in this harsh desert are PaljD Doves, Sparrows snd 
ofcourae the GreStad Lark [ealerida crlstata) ijhlch is 
perhaps a true dsughter of the desert. At the height of 
summer, in raging sand storms when no other form of life 
is visible, I have seen Crested Larks battle the mnds. 
Barring i^ders, Gulls and Terns, all ^.e other birds 
mentiCHied by me are seen in ones and twos for the most 
part, and that too in a few locations only- The situation 
is further confused by the fact that it is believed that 
local Arabs purchase a niUTiber of imported birds and 
release them. Some of these will survive for a ii^ile, but 
some others manage to establish themselves in the '^nld. 
The extent of this practice is not fully known though a 
local bird dealer has agreed to let me be involved when 
his nest consignment of birds arrives fron Bangkok, In 
June this year^, in a park in the torn o"f Abu Dh^bi (capital 
of UAH) I observed 5 Bulbul which had a red vent. Yet 
the bird was different in many ways to our Red^vented 
Bulbul (PycnonotuE oaf er) . Per one thing the head was not 
black but brown like the rest of the body. Two fledgelings 
were also seen denoting breeding in June- The mystery >jas 
solved when I came peeress a ref eif^ence that the Red-vented 
Bulbul having esca.ped from csges la becoming locally este^b- 
lished and hybridising in-th local species. The local 
Species of Bulbul I have seen on one occasion is P.Xantho- 
pygos^ or was it harbatus? 

Eas-iil-Khaim-a and Fujalrah are two towns at the northern 
and eastern end of United Arab Buirates. Both these places 
have extensive date palm groves and some farming as well 1 
Birds are more numerous here- Comaon crows and. Indian 
rollers are to be seen the year round- But vjhat surprised 
me was seeing the Purple Sum Bird (Heotarlna asiatica) 
in breeding plumage in June this year at Eas-Al-Khaima 1 
Surely June is not tte breeding season, but the male was 
distinctly in breediig plumage. Mother Indian bird resident 
and breeding in this country' in palm groves ox east coast is 
the G-rey Partridge (I'rancolinus pondice3:aanus) - Whether 
it is a case of escapees become locally establishedt I 
cannot say, Sut ih t-^^ parks outside I>jbai this partridge 
iras introduced and appears to he breeding. Kose-ringed 
parakeets which are brought hero in cages by the hundreds 
by air travellers f roro Bombay, have established theEiselves 
in the wild and are said to be breeding in the crowns cf 
palm trees, IJatural occuranoe of this parakeet in this 
region is only in Iraq which is quite far from UAB. 


In the last few y^sara a fair aiuoTait iias "been done in 
this coimtiy towards creation of grsenery. The oasis to-nn 
of Al-Air, has mor^i parks than an. average Indian tovjn, ill 

this must h&ve an effect on th& pattern of Tnirrra-tion since 
transit halts are r.ow available. Uiifor-uunatGly thie is 
not hein^ studied i:JcientificalXy by comprehensi-L^a observa- 
tions and ringing. As to the very large number of species 
which have been recorded herej fee only explanation is that 
apart from niigratioii from Europe to Africa, tiierc is Gonie 
migration from the Indian subcontinent as vjell . Yet it 
roTiaxns a mystery sj^^d an enigma to be resolved one day as 
to the reason why the frolden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) , 
perhaps the ultimate In audio-visual beauty or the Sun- 
bird which must live on neotar of flovers fln.d it worth- 
while .;t0 visit what is essentialy a dreary desert- 

. A list of birds seen on a mornings outing at the 
Saffa Park on March aoth, 19S1 is given beLow. This was 
whai the migrants were on their return joum^-» 

5^EL-PAEe:!. 20,?,s i 06^q i! , t?s. to ri q^o_T^pR 

1.' Gargeney Eem, One. Ref -Peterson , Hountfort, Hoolom. 

_ ^ ijirds of Britain and Europe- 

2i Squacco Heron One. 

. 3- Purple Heron One^ 

4. Common Sandpiper One. 

5* Palfli or laughing Dove Uumerous, 

6 . Swift Numerous . 

7- Hoopoe ELght- 

5. Wryneck One. ' 

9-. aandmartin One in company v?ith Juv-^wallows , 

10; Swallow Twenty + All in Juvenile plumage. 

11. ■ Itichard's iPipit Two* 

12, I'awny Pipit Fumerous, 

15, ; Yellow Wagtail Four, 

14. 'Blue Hoaded Vfegtaill'hree. 

15. Black Headed Wagtail Twentyeight- - 
All thG above Wagtails were-^.in one party- 
lb. Pied/White V/ag-^ail One. 

17. firsy vagtail Many. 

IS- Blije Throat Two. 

19- Black Redstart Pive. 

20- Redstart Three Pairs, 

21. atonechat. Three Pairs -i- 

22. Isabelline t/heatear Kui?icrous . 

23. Wheatear Q±x+ 

24. Desert Wheatear Threes- 







Mourning Whea-fccar ' llwo 

Hooded Wheatear Tbree-f 

Hiune's Vrtieate&r liefini-tely One 

Soxig Thrush Three+ 

Blaok Crowned Pinch LarJi: Pair 

DeSert Lark Up to ten- Some pale aubspeciea present 

Crested Lark 
Red Backed Shrike 
Isabelline Skrike 
Lesser G-rey shrike 
Greaiier G-rey Shrike 
\Joodcha1; Shrike 
Ortolan Bunting 
Fan Tailed ¥arhler 
I'flrLte Throat 
Black Gap 

VeTy numerous* 







One, , 


One . 
Chifxchaff '(Phyl . collybita ahietinus) Eilled hy 

children B-T-0. G-uide ^2 (Warhler) 
Connnon Mynah- Three-f 

Hous© Sparrot/ fTuiaerous 

There 'vfere many speoies of warbler jEfesent but identifi- 
cation vas not possible- 

ObBervers-(Alphahetical Order) 

A. Kumar, 

G- A. Miles 

M. Stew. - * 


M. West. 


Masked Shrike 



Cinereous Bunting 



■^ -^^ 


Editor: Zafar FutehaKy 

Dodda Gubbi Posl, Via Vidyanagar, Bangalore - 562 134 

Annual Subscription Rs. 15.'- 

Caver Pfciure : Blacktailed Godwit (Ltmosa iimosa) 
photo by : E. Hanumantha Rao 


... -. ^^.